A collection intent on worrying the boundaries between natural and unnatural, human and not, Unlikely Designs draws far-ranging source material from the back channels of knowledge making: the talk pages of Wikipedia, the personal writings of Charles Darwin, the love advice doled out by chatbots, and the eclectic inclusions on the Golden Record time capsule. It is here we discover the allure of the index, what pleasure there is in bending it to our own devices. At the same time, these poems also remind us that logic is often reckless, held together by nothing more than syntactical short circuits—well, I mean, sorry, yes—prone to cracking under closer scrutiny. Returning us again and again to these gaps, Katie Willingham reveals how any act of preservation is inevitably an act of curation, an outcry against the arbitrary, by attempting to make what is precious also what survives.
About the author
Katie Willingham teaches writing at the University of Michigan.
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