"Joanna Penn Cooper's debut collection, WHAT IS A DOMICILE, interrogates the philosophical geographies of female/human embodiment. With the hypnotic languor of time-lapse photography, these dreamy poems, 'lived by the movement of cloud shadow,' document the quotidian rituals of moving through domestic, urban, psychological, emotional, aesthetic, and textual spaces. 'I've cured myself of being / so meta, or else I've embraced it,' Cooper writes in these alternately lush and witty poems, as she wrestles with the art of '[h]ow to wear the crown of love and fresh pita for lunch and let it go.' Like a Russian Matryoshka doll, spaces and lives nest and layer one inside the other—strange palimpsests over other days, hours, histories, ghosts—culminating in the Coke-can sized life growing within the speaker, who forms the vulnerable core from which these existential questions ripple with a gorgeously aching intensity: 'You are in love with someone you just met, who's lying there, too. You barely touch, but you're also the same person. Part of the movie is a tiny spine, tiny kidneys. A four-chambered heart. Look at all the wonder.'" – Lee Ann Roripaugh, author of On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year
"If you seek innovative poetry that engages with motherhood, this is a must-read." – from Harriet, the Poetry Foundation's blog
"No matter where you enter this text, I promise you will find Cooper’s musings and revelations engrossing. . . . Cooper’s speaker offers this astute self-assessment:
'I am compelled/ to travel up and down the reality scale, playing whatever/ notes create ambience and distract from the lack of plot.'
There’s a wink and a nod here to every experimental, hybrid, multi-genre, proeming (rhymes with 'roaming'!) writer out there, for whom a linear narrative account couldn’t begin to cover the essential fragments, the labyrinthine tangents, the profound etceteras of the lyric life-record." – Julie Marie Wade, from her review for The Rumpus
Available for purchase at Small Press Distribution.