About the Book:
Speaking Through Sediment began as an adventure in a speculative style of leaping that Cindy Rinne and Cooper simultaneously experimented with. Both poets are seekers, and as such were engaged in a style of play where they leapt without being sure of where they were going to land. The collaborative process was a matter of sharing work as it was generated and then feverishly writing the next piece— each writer engaged in this process simultaneously. The collective of poems generated was then curated under the weaver’s-eye of Rinne, who found continuity and meaning in the poetic landscape. The field was very wide, and ever dangerous: a polyphonic animal of a poetry book. Rinne and Cooper purposefully do not delineate where one voice leaves off and another begins to further underscore the sense of collaboration through dialog rather than the individuation of intellectual property and agonism.
Praise for Speaking Through Sediment:
If François Picabia were here, he would drive Gertrude Stein to a SoCal beach with an eraser, a shovel, a camera and some knitting needles. Together they would sift, displace, cast on, record, and efface whatever and whomever they found there. In indirect conversation with Dada and the avant-garde, this remarkable collection enacts postmodern combinations of the exquisite corpse, the concrete poem, and the erasure poem, borrowing Joycean misspellings and enlisting a gang of deities, folkloric remnants, and ritual objects along the way. The result is hieroglyphic, hypnotizing and sometimes upside down (literally). But the play is always leading somewhere, and the later sections of this collection open up into increasingly personal places that surprise, move, disturb and reward. A unique, highly visual, and arresting read. ~Stephanie Barbé Hammer, How Formal? Spout Hill Press
Speaking Through Sediment is a beautiful collection of poetry that moves deftly and playfully through a discourse between structure and wilderness, enticing this nature-loving desert girl! With heart and courage, light footprints and powerful strokes of expertly-hewn word and verse, this collection of poems both entices and soothes, and challenges readers to see the many connections between the internal and external worlds around them with many fresh perspectives. ~Ruth Nolan, poet/writer; editor of No Place for a Puritan: the Literature of CA’s Deserts (Heyday, 2009)
A book with two unique voices, one intensely lyrical, the other gracefully narrative, a book of masterfully written and arranged poems, a book of spoken songs make up Speaking Through Sediment. There is much to admire about this collaboration. For me, Michael Cooper and Cindy Rinne create a threshold space where their talents fuse, expand, and invite us in. ~Juan Delgado, American Book Award Winner for Vital Signs
In Speaking Through Sediment, Michael Cooper and Cindy Rinne weave together an animate, fire-breathing tapestry whose warp is collaboration and woof is collage. Little wonder, then, that their art is vitally, potently, and urgently alive; that in this vast poetry “Every moment matters,” spider webs bridge door handles, spin koans, and pick locks; identities split into chasms; phantom limbs burn; mosaics birth phoenixes; and voices rise from road-side earth. And O, what worlds these voices sing! Cooper and Rinne plait together poetic multitudes, colors and clangours and steep learning curves, and along their companionable way, usher in a new future for poetry: bright, vivid, sustained and sustaining. The poets, themselves, sing it best: “call all call live…When we leap together!” Fearlessly, joyfully, this collaboration reweaves us into our shared world. ~Julie Sophia Paegle, author of torch song tango choir and Twelve Clocks
This dynamic collaboration between Michael Cooper and Cindy Rinne hurtles through the male/female binary into the polyphonic, as the voices prism and ricochet past one another, multiplying in possibility. The trickster spider-god, Anansi, is spirit guide for this collection, at once postmodern and preverbal, as if the world rituals have been rent into fragments that ache toward the formation of a new web—text and textile, one which gathers all the lost, all rejected, orphaned and damaged, the repulsive and the lovely, to “reweave the world” to have “stacked the bodies looking for wholes where their souls peeked out.” This is a poetry that invades all planes, from bureaucracy to myth, interrogating poetry’s limits, even as it bears witness, unflinchingly, to what we have become. ~Chad Sweeney, author of White Martini of the Apocalypse