CUNTRY

Hybrid poetry book, from Trembling Pillow Press
Finalist for the 2015 National Poetry Series.

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"A CUNTRY girl chases her American dream the wrong direction, from California to Tennessee, and reveals how she is simultaneously made, turned on and damaged by the heteronormative wreckage on display in country music lyrics and porn.  In these wall-to-wall poems about voyeurism, sexuality and consent in the Internet age, Kristin Sanders 'look[s] back at a man / looking back at the woman' and also back, directly, into the gaze of the gaping reader, putting on display for us the conundrums and complexities around how the feminine self 'learn[s] young how to man the automatic grief machine.' CUNTRY is a burning ring of fire. Fall into it." 

–Arielle Greenberg

"Sanders writes pornographic poetry with a twang. Like the best genitals, it drawls, drools, hollers, and hides. If Anne Carson’s cunt sang, it would weep duets at the moon with this book."

–Myriam Gurba

"CUNTRY is an elegant excavation of Sanders’s twinned obsession with pornography and country music. Effortlessly slipping between poetry, memoir, and music criticism, Sanders disrobes the country song of the 90s and uses it as a lens to expose our culture’s sanitized images of femininity. CUNTRY not only skewers the objectifying nature of pop culture but also explores the pleasures of objectification, of 'lingering in the gaze.' It is a story about how the very desires that make us also undo us. Which is to say, it is a story about failure. Also: singing. The necessity of talking back to the song, the book, or the film because, as Sanders reminds us, 'the desire of the cunt is always left out except where I write it in.'"

 –Elizabeth Hall

"In CUNTRY, Sanders exfoliates the porn moments of her life through critical (yet unsolved) reflections of her collision (and collusion) with porn culture. From an initial bedazzlement to a steady deflation of it, Sanders has found a clear bandwidth with which to have a telling of it, all the while scrupulously avoiding the pitfalls of overt titillation, or worse, a studied coyness. These deft meditations are amplified by splicing in dozens of ingeniously ludic, détourned country song lyrics that re-scramble the increasingly fixed coordinates of Porn's Progress. The result is a brave, risky project that will embolden many of the less brave among us who've buckled at such open public testimony. We can, I'm sure, be a bunch more CUNTRY now."

–Rodrigo Toscano


Myriam Gurba on CUNTRY and Elizabeth Hall's book, I Have Devoted My Life To The Clitoris:

"Elizabeth and I discussed Kristin Sanders’ forthcoming poetryish memoir, an ode to porn, country music, and the internet, CUNTRY, for in CUNTRY, Sanders transmogrifies the clitoral gaze. She writes, 'What makes a good cuntry object is a hook, is the hook in the eye that she stares at you with. Fondle the utensils, kitchen appliances, push-up bra, vacuum cleaner nozzle – your accoutrements. Fondle the physical power of the man over the woman. The men are the hunters. Guns swinging, guns hard and erect as a spoon in her sweetpink.'

Elizabeth’s work is kind of Kristin’s work and Kristin’s work is kind of Elizabeth’s."

Interview with Vi Khi Nao at Entropy Magazine.
Interview with rob mclennan at at 12 or 20 Questions.
Kristin Sanders and Gina Ferrara on Episode 9 of No Good Poetry.

Review of "I Learned To Be A Woman From A Nineties Country Song" and excerpts from CUNTRY (published in TENDERLOIN) by Megan Burns. 

"The poems are where the work is done though; regardless of our love or our devotion. It is our desire where we write it out, it is where we are not, which then complicates the images in [Sanders'] video. And Sanders' poems in conjunction with the video create a place of critique and discussion. You have to read the poems to get under the veil of the image[...] Sanders is not rewriting or decoding the songs for us; she's reinscribing them through the lens of her own performance stripped down. Beyond the pearls and denim, the "other" is given voice."

Kristin Sanders reading on July 19, 2013 at Emory University as a part of the Poetry Council's What's New in Poetry series.