Distributed for Omnidawn Publishing, Inc.
At a time of simultaneous isolation and interconnection, this book is an inquiry into the edges of the self. Pushing back on capitalist messages of individuality, CHORUS instead seeks the multifaceted self that engages with the radical diversity that characterizes any healthy ecosystem or society. Moving between a remote canyon in New Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, New York City, the virtual world, the past, and the unstable future, the author asks, “Whose afterimage am I?”
The sprawling, celebratory, mourning chorus of this book is the sum of many voices; the words of other writers, poets, and artists are interwoven with the author’s words. This is a celebration of language’s capacity to supersede bodily limits, mortality, and existential loneliness. Daniela Naomi Molnar’s chorus encompasses violence, love, empathy, fear, a burning planet, a pandemic, heartbreak, desire, joy, and grief. Rather than seeking resolution, these poems look through the lens of a fragmented self, dwelling in plurality, discord, and harmony.
CHORUS is the winner of Omnidawn’s 1st /2nd Book Prize, judged by Kazim Ali.
110 pages | 6 x 9
"[A] striking debut. . . . These poems do not deliver tidy answers to the dilemmas of existence, but rather investigate the division and fragmentation with lyric urgency."
"Chorus is a lyric wail stunned into awakening by crises both planetary and personal-- though here, as in the physical universe, the two are not oppositional phenomena. Pieces made of fragmented verse, sinuous prose, and desperate frenzied plea make a rhetoric of salve, or salvation. As the poet writes, ‘The songbird is and is not a metaphor./The songbird is and is not gone.’ What I mean to say to you (I meaning me, you meaning absolutely you, the one reading this) is that this is a book that speaks from a body and to a body. I felt spoken to. Known. ‘Are you there. Is anyone there.’"
Kazim Ali, judge of the 1st/2nd Omnidawn Book Contest 2021
"Tendrilic, electric, Daniela Naomi Molnar’s Chorus traces a mind in swift action. A near daybook, this collection is intimate and expansive, born of the solitudes highlighted in the pandemic, while resistant to the individualisms thrust upon us. It is a choral undertaking that points to the ecosystems of our languages, the subterranean connections between our lives and the world, and the 'open portals' of books in our current fires. A stunning book by a poet I am excited to follow."
Solmaz Sharif, author of Customs