Groundbreaking feminist poems featuring an artificial womb and an apocalyptic future
The prose poems in Jenny Irish’s newest collection, Hatch, trace the consciousness of an artificial womb that must confront the role she has played in the continuation of the dying of the human species. This apocalyptic vision engages with the most pressing concerns of this contemporary sociopolitical moment: reproductive rights, climate crises, and mass extinction; gender and racial bias in healthcare and technology; disinformation, conspiracy theories, and pseudoscience; and the possibilities and dangers of artificial intelligence. More intimately, Hatch considers questions about how motherhood and its cultural expectations shape female identity. Working with avant strategies, Irish crafts a speculative feminist narrative, excavating and reexamining the aspects of the American experience that should have served as a call to action but have not. Part elegy and part prophecy, Hatch warns of a possible future while speaking to the present moment.
JENNY IRISH is from Maine and lives in Arizona, where she teaches at Arizona State University. She is the author of the hybrid collections Common Ancestor and Tooth Box, the short-story collection I Am Faithful, and the chapbook Lupine. She facilitates free community workshops every summer.
“Jenny Irish’s vibrant use of language and imagery makes each page of Hatch sing. She can turn a sentence into a shiv, a paragraph into a punch. This collection is a deep, surprising, chilling — yet, somehow, also really fun — look at who we are as humans, at what we’ve done to the earth and each other, and at where the future may lead us (or, perhaps more accurately, how we as humans may impact the future of all life on the planet).” — Gayle Brandeis, author of Many Restless Concerns
“An entanglement of crosshatched vignettes that explore a violence unique to our species, Hatch provides a frightening premonition for a certain kind of gestating doom across generations—one that bears the symptoms of patriarchal inheritance, of racist inclinations in even our most “objective” technologies, and of our shared complicity in birthing cyclic atrocities. In this careful indictment, I read a startling awareness of the contours of our undoing—as Irish writes, “in the age of the metal womb, how quickly humans forget.” How brutal you are, Jenny. How true the viciousness of your brilliant book.” —Jessica Q. Stark, author of Buffalo Girl
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