Abigail Zimmer’s “Action Poetry” Will Defy Your Assumptions

Abigail Zimmer’s first full-length collection of poems, girls their tongues , came out with Orange Monkey Publishing earlier this year. Reviews have been glowing. Chicago artist and writer Jill Magi notes the book’s remarkable pacing: “the work defies the assumption that poetry should slow things down.” That speed is felt with poems that traverse the page, engage with narrative, work with humor, and move through exciting repetitions. Zimmer is also the author of chapbooks fearless as I seam and child in a winter house brightening , which won the Chicago Review of Books ’ 2016 Poetry Award . I recently spoke with Zimmer via email about her “action-packed” approach to poetry. Sarah Blake: I often feel like poetry lives in the head, the mouth, and the ear, but this book is so rooted in action. It even has a mild obsession with infinitives, with lines like, “to pluck to sound to dig,” which ties into that action for me. I love it. What draws you to action for your work? Abigail Zimmer: Probably the fact that I can’t sit still when I write! Even now, I’m in and out of my chair, watering the plants and raising the blinds […]

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