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Best American Poetry blog reviews Echolalia in Script

January 15, 2018 • Full of Strange Experience: Seven Brief Reviews by Dante Di Stefano

Echolalia in Script gorgeously collects Sam Roxas-Chua’s asemic writings in a gallery of images contextualized by the title poem. The stunning examples of open form writing in this book are “flawed disiderata,” failed cartographies, “troubled cantatas,” “true languages born of beak & exhale.” As Roxas-Chua notes in the introduction, his interest in wordless open semantic forms of writing parallels his work as a poet and stems, in part, from his personal history: “born to Filipino parents, adopted into a Chinese family, and then later immigrating to America resulted in a number of displacements that prevented me from taking claim to country or language.” Echolalia in Script is a book of elemental, angelic, visionary beauty rendered in the illimitable shorthand of the divine, an austere infinite tracery, a singing Forever composed of untranslatable Nows.