Materialist, feminist, queer, hybrid—channeling the sensibilities of Gloria Anzaldúa, Rosario Castellanos, Mary Kelly, Teresa Hak Kyung Cha, Cecilia Vicuña, Patssi Valdez, Bernadette Mayer—Carroll’s second collection of prose poems and wordimages contemplates the cost of living in an era of “cruel optimism.” Procedurally formalizing self-editing and indecision, Carroll undocuments the quotidian’s shades of gray/grey, the contingencies of post-Fordist relationality in the pre-Occupy window of time between September 11, 2001, and the 2008 recession. “Cognative dissonance” meets “the rite to be a citizen.” “What is the difference between neoliberalism and globalization?” tempers the countercultural question “And, me?” In Fannie + Freddie / The Sentimentality of Post–9/11 Pornography, Carroll muses, “Like Sammy and Rosie, Fannie and Freddie got laid.”
Off-grid, she mixes metaphors, criss-crossing the borders erected between the lyric and the conceptual “I.” She crosses out the dividing lines elected to maintain performance art, visual culture, and poetry as discrete, clairvoyant media of social engagement. She layers jokes, puns, riddles, platitudes, hackneyed phrases, adages, boilerplate, buzzwords, mottos, proverbs, rubber-stamp rhetoric, slogans, threadbare phrases, trite remarks, and truisms over one another to provide a portrait of the contemporary American landscape as experienced by working- and middle-class Americans. Carroll offers an elaborate palimpsest of text and images—text that is often shaded, crossed out, or printed over other text or images.
Claudia Rankine, who chose the volume for Fordham University’s 2011–12 Poets Out Loud Prize, succinctly sings its praises: “The intelligence, compassion, and dimensionality of this collection place it in a category all its own—it belongs to and is crafted out of the psychic anxieties of the twenty-first century. I, for one, was both exhilarated and humbled by Fannie + Freddie / The Sentimentality of Post–9/11 Pornography.”