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25 March 2008

Kristin Palm's _The Straits_

The Straits
Kristin Palm
Palm Press
100 pages, perfectbound
ISBN 9780978926236

In The Straits, Kristin Palm presents us with a portrait of the mythological city of Detroit. By tracing its construction and destruction, Palm invokes the glory and tragedy of America in the 20th century. Among Palm’s lyric narrative of the names and places, the ruins of Detroit represent promise and possibility as a model for urban landscapes. The Straits should be required reading for all lovers and dreamers of the great American City. —Brenda Coultas

The Straits is a Cadillac collection down to its pistons and rims. Within these pages, Kristin Palm exhales into the city of accumulation (by dispossession) a new Detroit, extending a poesis first laid out by Grace Lee Boggs, Tyree Guyton, Cybotron, Lolita Hernandez, and MOCAD. Welcome to Detroit, voyeurs—now go home. —Mark Nowak

Child of the so-called “Rust Belt” (moniker denoting a kind of pastoral abandonment of Capital’s Capacity, instead of a concertedly choreographed replacement of its machinery and its train of human effects—emotional / intellectual / artistic), Kristin Palm has come “back home” with The Straits. But this “return” is a journey outwards and forwards. It is for all of us interested in demystifying the effective discourses of place around a global-urban nexus. The Straits is a poetic investigatory tour-de-force that stands alongside Mark Nowak’s Shut Up Shut Down as to how “experimental narrative works can enter this scene as cultural forces or vectors that provide other narrative structures for imagining places and histories…towards a cultural imagining of “Another World”“ (Jeff Derksen). —Rodrigo Toscano