Without Togetherness: The Intersectional Impasse of Syd Zolf’s Collaborative Poetics1


In order to open up the possibility for a radical genealogy of feminist poetics in and beyond contemporary Canadian writing, I introduce the successes and failures of: radical citation, the proliferation of intersectionality, and the reproductive capabilities of cyborgs. The transformative potential of innovative and conceptual poetry practices and the ways in which they illuminate the productive flailing of feminist critique is demonstrated through attention to the collaborative and appropriative poetics of contemporary Canadian poet Syd (formerly Rachel) Zolf. In order to approach a situation—a praxis of feminist critique and theory—in which “the errors of face-to-face ethical recognition” (Janey’s Arcadia 116) can be rendered readable, I position Zolf’s innovative strategies alongside the interventions in genre of Lisa Robertson and M. NourbeSe Philip. The paper seeks to address how feminist critics can productively address the ethical discomfort of our entanglements in issues of racialized and gendered violence, Indigenous sovereignty, and experimental cultural production.

This article “Without Togetherness: The Intersectional Impasse of Syd Zolf’s Collaborative Poetics1” originally appeared in Feminist Critique Here and Now Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 254 (2023): 36-56.

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