STANDARD AMERICAN ENGLISH by EL_S_TH H__ST_ON
210 x 190mm, 148 pages, black and white printing, perfect bound, softcover, 2022
In Standard American English, writer and multidisciplinary artist Elisabeth Houston brings her readers deep into the world of baby, a persona she has been developing in performance contexts for nearly a decade. The poems in this debut collection emerge from the abject dialectic of baby’s psyche—where a self in formation staggers under the weight of sexual abuse, body image dysmorphia, rapacious materialism, fame obsession, and racial fetishism. What is witnessed here is the way late capitalism unfolds brutal games of power, affecting all dimensions of life, with the potential to consume and ravage individual actors, as well as entire communities and cultures. Standard American English is a blistering satire of contemporary American values. In the tradition of literary “outlaws” such as Kathy Acker, Marguerite Duras, and Jean Genet, Houston pulls out all the stops.