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A Crime-Poem

No Man's Land Night

Annemarie Estor

Annemarie Estor is known for the sensuousness and sensory intensity of her texts and her cross-genre poetics. Critics have described her poetry as texts that ‘should be gobbled up and revelled in’. They say she writes ‘language from which there is no escape’, and uses ‘intoxicating metaphors, mesmerizing lyricism, and unique musicality’.

Unsettling poetry that fascinates by its stupefying sensuous power
De Standaard

‘No Man’s Land Night’ is subtitled ‘a crime-poem’. And indeed this collection is a narrative in poems, full of suspense, on the divided city Orb-e-Grout. It is not actually a whodunnit, but the quest for an answer to the question ‘Where do I come from?’ of the main character triggers an adventurous story full of surprises and inventive associations.  The crime Pili, the main character, commits, is that she, in the company of her teacher Valeria, crosses the border between Orb and Grout. Orb is a society in which technology and algorithms have taken over and regulate life, the surrounding slum called Grout contains that which is excluded. There, people live in primitive circumstances and poverty. Pili is described as someone feeling uncomfortable in Orb, but the plot really starts when Valeria tells Pili a shocking truth: she has a mother.

One reading does not finish this poem

In a multi-faceted language and typography Annemarie Estor depicts and critiques a dystopian world that is at the same time magical and exotic, but also terrifyingly recognizable.