Winner of the 1998 Barnard New Women Poets Prize
The poems in Jena Osman’s first volume embody the poem as performance, revealing the tensions between narrative coherence and Brechtian self-consciousness, and our constitution by “characters” of all types. Playful, mysterious, and challenging, The Character is for anyone interested in the inscription of power by means of language.
“The best series currently introducing new writers to the public.” -Booklist
“The extraordinary inventiveness and particularity of this writing make the common ways of proposing a world vividly apparent. The modus of our statement is the determinant of our powers. Viva Jena Osman!”
“Whether exploring the possibilities of new forms or imagining a theatrical space for writing, Jena Osman keeps her focus on crafting poems that are consummately articulate in their precise registers and their intricate measures. With The Character, Osman comes onstage to take her place as one of the most inventive and reflective poets of her generation.” -Charles Bernstein
“Jena Osman’s writing, in The Character, is at once sensation of an essay form and imploding that from the inside. Her writing is the way the mind works, simultaneity. This is exciting and discovery.” -Leslie Scalapino