Close to me & Closer… (The Language of Heaven) and Désamère

By Alice Notley


O Books
Original Language(s)
Additional Credits
Cover art by Leslie Scalapino &
Amy Evans McClure
Design by Larry Price
Edition, Year
First Edition, Second Printing, 1995
In Print

Alice Notley’s two books, Close to me & Closer… (The Language of Heaven) and Désamère, are works that are wholly their art, meaning they occur as their language shape/measure. The text is a rich current crossing, as at the moment of imagining, into being in death and in an expanded life. Notley transgresses conventional contemporary categories of genre; rather than genre, the form of the writing is the mind’s inner sense and motion.

Alice Notley
Alice Notley is an American poet who was born in Bisbee, Arizona, in 1945 and grew up in Needles, California. She received a BA from Barnard College in 1967 and an MFA from the Writers' Workshop at the ... Read More

The most thrilling thing about Close to me & Closer… (The Language of Heaven) and Désamère—aside from the joy of reading them—is how they act as explorations of gestures that lead to The Descent of Alette. […] Notley is practicing. Trying out these impulses that will ultimately lead to an incredible thing.

— Diana Arterian, The Offending Adam


Praise for Close to me & Closer… (The Language of Heaven) and Désamère

Alice Notley is, I think, the most challenging and engaging of our contemporary radical female poets… Infused with uncommon verbal originality, intelligence and joyous playfulness, full of heart, intensity and wonder, provocatively addressing forever unsolved questions of form and identity, life and death, imagination and gender, Notley’s poems are unsettling and inspiring.

— Tom Clark

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