Human Resources by Rachel Zolf
Coach House Books, 2007
Winner of the 2008 Trillium Book Award for Poetry!
Write for buyers. Write for bosses. Think hyper. Think branding. Tell your visitor where to go.
Poetry and ‘plain language’ collide in the writing machine that is Human Resources. Here at the intersection of creation and repackaging, we experience the visceral and psychic cost of selling things with depleted words. Pilfered rhetorics fed into the machine are spit out as bungled associations among money, shit, culture, work and communication. With the help of online engines that numericize language, Human Resources explores writing as a process of encryption.
Deeply inflected by the polyvocality and encoded rhetorics of the screen, Human Resources is perched at the limits of language, irreverently making and breaking meaning. Navigating the crumbling boundaries among page, screen, reader, engine, writer and database, Human Resources investigates wasting words and words as waste and the creative potential of salvage.
“In this bad-mouthing and incandescent burlesque, Rachel Zolf transforms a necessary social anger into the pure fuel that takes us to ‘the beautiful excess of the unshackled referent.’ We learn something new about guts, and about how dictions slip across one another, entwining, shimmering, wisecracking. For Zolf, political invention takes precedent, works the search engine.” —Lisa Robertson