Litmus Press, 2009

Includes a 17-page, full-color insert of collages by the poet and cover art by Bronx-based artist Rosemarie Fiore

"The work here is social sculpture at its most intense: ciphering the din of public immediacy through the person of the disjointed subject only to feed out the information stream as a critique of participation, colored by the guilt of subjectivity." —Michael Cross, "Social Character and Social Sculpture in Judith Goldman & Jennifer Scappettone," in ON: Contemporary Practice

"The work in this wondrous first major book by Jennifer Scappettone has a phenomenal—an excitatory—presence, the presence of action, not thing. This book is a matrix of polytemporal energy, a linguistic carnival, ribald and resounding—'a most implicit maze.' The syntactic cadences of the poetry carry enormous semantic content, distributing but also timing meaning, in ways akin to those that one finds in the late works of Henry James, for example, or in Robert Creeley’s writing. But the language of From Dame Quickly—the lexical and linguistic turns of logic and sediments of lore—is Scappettone’s own. It invents absolutely contemporary, 21st-century archaicisms appropriate to erotic play or to ripostes against unjust governance. Subversive puns, seductive sound plays abound; references spin. Lexical pop-ups obtrude—terms or phrases that jump into view from some part of the terrain that is familiarly known as 'out of context' but is in truth part of that all-context which is almost the entire human landscape. And that is the scope of this book—every place local and almost but never quite—this is an anti-totalizing project—entire. This is a vast and brilliant book." —Lyn Hejinian

“Scappettone’s book, starting from the (Karl) Marx reference in its title to the Acker-esque flourish of its last line (“Idunno ma but every port I open (50693) stinks like the oikosed, costly.”), is inundated with the history of Western philosophy (Aristotle to Deleuze, and beyond), political economy and canonical literature…. For Scappettone, every turn in history, whether progressive (the political revolutions of the early 20th century) or reactionary (the rise of the fasces against the “king”), is another layer of sediment over the “problem” of women… Because each turn of history is a deepening of the sediment, each “New War” renders Dame Quickly (and rapidity is a necessary feature of wit, as though one has to speak quickly before one is, again, muffled) literally implicit, folded into, under: “Epithets—given down? I am a most implicit maze.”… From Dame Quickly is remarkable in its breadth and striking in its intensely felt intelligence.” —Tyrone Williams, “Goodbye to ‘Miss Otis Regrets’ and All That,” Jacket2

“The care and attention paid to the form and design of this book reflect an appreciation of the book as an object or material ‘thing’ and can be read as a manifestation of Scappettone's overarching interest in the reclamation of matter and materiality and the ways that matter can function not only as a container for content, but also as an active site of meaning-making….For Scappettone, matter is not inert and passive. Kicking ‘heels against the alphabeted mass’ indicates an agential body rather than a passive one, and configures language as material… Scappettone develops a materially and corporeally grounded feminist poetics that problematizes the distinction between body and text, matter and language and shows how a poetics of ‘strategic embodiment’ can ‘strip bare the essentializing acts of determination and domination that buttress a regressive social world’ (Scappettone 2007)... Scappettone's poetic reclamation of ‘thingness’…is part of her "riotously opposing" poetics and implicitly informs her engagement with geopolitics throughout.” —Heather Milne, Poetry Matters: Neoliberalism, Affect, and the Posthuman in Twenty-First Century North American Feminist Poetics 

"Quickly: it's neither fish nor flesh, Falstaff nor Faust. 'I became again, I learned to taste.' Translation, collage, prose poem, lyric invention, periodic convolute, imploded syntax & discursive veers: Scappettone's richly textured, multifoliate poetry is an intellectual and aesthetic extravaganza that defies genre in its commitment to structural process and social materiality."—Charles Bernstein

"There are an infinite number of ways to read FROM DAME QUICKLY—its range of styles/methods recalling Black Mountain-inspired composition by field, collage poems combining blurred photographs and Burroughs-like cut-ups of her own poetry, prose poems combining the philosophical nuance of Lyn Hejinian and the irreverent humor of Bruce Andrews, its puns and neologisms working Joyce's encyclopedic and politicized hijinks, its dedication to reworking philosophical concepts through crazed and incessant linguistic investigations recalling John Ashbery and [Jennifer Scappettone's] own interest in Italian poetry of research (see AUFGABE #7). [FROM DAME QUICKLY] is an aporetic glossolalia of defacements, distortions, and extensions of language from the level of the word to the sentence to the poetic sequence 'Whose deadline doesn't thin.'"—Alan Ramon Clinton, BOOG City 60

"The textual strategies within FROM DAME QUICKLY save us from the market's 'ever easier': (d)eluding the 'spikes of activity,' the claims and mad (human) costs of value, and diseases themselves turned to commodity, as Falstaff says. Disorientation and fragmentation are guerilla warfare: they are the ultimate movements to impress upon the net of references and texts setting free and affirming the untold (always told) in Western history—the way it is now, as it wounds, is wounded, and regards us."—Marco Giovenale

"In her much-awaited-breath-bated first book, Jennifer Scappettone has found the perfect guise from which to rule her invented gorgeous and why supra-sensuous ambit—Dame Quickly, whom Scappettone (turn)styles a vatic 'pre-Pandoran' 'she-port' ready to 'kick the alphabeted mass.' In Hank IV, D.Q.'s laser-sharp raunch divined use for fish, flesh, and man; under the auspices of Scappettone's sprezzatura and witz, she's ready-set and on her Marx, back with a 'cinkangle-tongue / redubbed' to 'contango' ladies, 'phellus,' and bad apples' 'badablings.' Then again, Dona Quickly may be the whole netherside of the 'M-16able' hetero-commodity void revealed, through the crystalline indeterminacy of 'Bull Desuetude,' the near-pants-wettingly irreverent series 'Derrida is Dead,' the palimpsestic visual scores of 'Illocatable Hours,' among other panoptical utter gems. If you're looking to gate-crash with site-specificity, this auratic book can cure you of the burning quotidian tertian (Falstaff's disease (courtesy W.S.)). No matter your poison, you'll want to peruse FROM DAME QUICKLY to see 'Womankind-the everlasting irony of the community' (as Scappettone quotes from Hegel)-give 'Venice's eff-you' to the masculinist global oikos and realpolitik. 'Sup on it!'" —Judith Goldman