Windows and Doors is a poetry handbook that places poststructuralist and postmodern ways of thinking alongside formalist modes, making explicit points of overlap and tension that are usually tacit. Each of Natasha Sajé’s nine essays addresses a topic of central concern to readers and writers of poetry while also making an argument about poetic language and ideology. Foundational topics—diction, syntax, rhythm, surprise, figurative language, narrative, genre, book design, and performance—are explained through the lenses of theory, history, and philosophy and illuminated through vibrant examples from the works of numerous contemporary American poets.
Praise for Natasha Sajé:
“Windows and Doors is a book for the erudite reader as well as the novice poet; Natasha Sajé’s knowledge of both literary theory and the contemporary American scene crosses every aesthetic camp line currently imaginable. Indeed, just as Windows and Doors highlights those strategies working across ‘oppositional’ aesthetic lines, Sajé’s book bridges the theoretical and the practical, breaking down critical/creative divisions in poetic scholarship. At times provocative, at times disarming, these essays continually surprise, delighting as well as educating the reader, building a bridge between poetry and prose.”
— Paisley Rekdal
“In these lively and insightful essays, Natasha Sajé is as thoughtful reading Foucault, Jakobson, or Lacan as she is reading Brock-Broido, Komunyakaa, or Ruefle, and she demonstrates with wit and grace just how much writers and readers of poetry stand to gain by thinking through theory.”
“One of poetry’s most ludic and encyclopedic essayists.”
— Mary Ruefle
Cover photo: The Griddle. Photo by David Baddley.