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Topic: Melissa Bull

Artfulness & the Secret Story: Melissa Bull’s Rue

If you visualize the prose poem as a canvas, given its rectangular shape on the page, then reading Melissa Bull’s debut collection, Rue, is like experiencing an installation in an underground gallery with all your senses brought to high alert. The lighting is demanding (think strobe), subjects raw and frisson-inducing, landscapes more urban than not, accompanied by the “perpetual groan of engines from the highways behind the traintracks.” Dispersed among the canvasses, you encounter collage-like poems in stanzas tight with edgy precision: “Last spring his limbs bent on a folding chair / heron in the Green Room / I shot him down.”