Neighbour Procedure

Syd Zolf


Coach House


“This is an extraordinary collection of poems, and yet I hesitate in saying this, since something happens to poetry in these pages, so I no longer know what precisely poetry is or can be. In fact, Rachel Zolf brings an incredible range of readings to bear on the poetic line. If there is a mixing of media within these lines, there is also a proliferation of tongues, an effort to let language collide to produce a more acute and anguished experience of war. Israel and Palestine recur in the fits and starts of meditation offered here where language follows unpredictable sequences and finds itself suddenly stuttering in its vowels. There is mourning, rage and some brave and difficult effort to speak across traditions, languages, to avow loss, to expose the colder rationalities of occupation and war, and a linguistic fathoming of the ethics of proximity. This is courageous and moving work that feels like the struggle of a lifetime condensed into potent lines.” — Judith Butler


Neighbour Procedure … pack[s] an intellectual punch that reminds us, once again, of the powerhouse generations of innovative feminist poets that continually challenge and transform our understanding of what poetic texts can do.” — Matrix Magazine


“Neighbour Procedure is the most realized conceptual-modular book of political poetry I’ve read to date; Zolf’s language-motion escapes several nation-states’ culture capture zones while re-threading the very notion of “self”-representational purposivity.” — Rodrigo Toscano