Oh You Robot Saints!

Rebecca Morgan Frank

Oh You Robot Saints!

Rebecca Morgan Frank

Distributed for Carnegie Mellon University Press

96 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper $15.95 ISBN: 9780887486685 Will Publish February 2021
Part bestiary, part litany, part elegy, Rebecca Morgan Frank’s Oh You Robot Saints! is populated by a strange menagerie of early automata and robots, including octobots and an eighteenth-century digesting duck, set alongside medieval mechanical virgins and robot priests. From a riveting robobee sonnet sequence that links weapons of war and industrial fixes for infertility to a microdrama sketching out a missing Sophocles play on the mythical bronze man, Talos, these muscular poems blur and sing the lines between machines and the divine. This lyrical exploration of the ongoing human desire to create life navigates wonder and grief, joining the uncanny investigation of what it is to be, to make, and to be made.
 
Review Quotes
Sean Singer
Rebecca Morgan Frank’s Oh You Robot Saints! wrangles with what it means to be a person by exploring the history of robotics in evocative detail. The poems wonder if robots—mechanical ones and spiritual ones—mimic creation itself. Poem after poem reveals profound and frightening thinking-through of using robots as a means to talk about more human things: fertility, mothers, and children (and their absences) and what sacrifices robots may make in their saintly and human forms. This is a weird and interesting book and you should read it.
Kimberly Johnson
We had always thought our art would be immortal," muses the concluding poem of Oh You Robot Saints!, Rebecca Morgan Frank's timely meditation on the complex work of making. Frank's book reveals how the many kinds of poiesis we humans commit satisfy similar urges: we build so many lovely machines-out of cutting-edge composites, out of words, out of our own genetic material-each with the craving to expand beyond ourselves, to outrun our frail limits. Frank gazes directly at our compulsion to "build / a body that moves," offering these poems as a kinetic example of their own argument. "To be true is to be an imitation," Frank argues; painstaking, handmade, Frank's clockwork poems strike true.
Jericho Brown
The truth is in the job, not the wound” is one of my favorite lines in Rebecca Morgan Frank’s daring Oh You Robot Saints!, a book in which the beauty, jealousy, and worship of the gods take center stage. Part of the precision of this book and every one of its lines has to do with Frank’s commitment to showing us tragedy as the Greeks would through her indomitable use of second person like a director giving instructions: “Fill the ark: start / with the giant flower / beetle . . .” And part of it has to do with full-on Sapphic tenderness: “The women I’ve loved and lived with are dead, / and today it felt like spring might return.” This volume proves Rebecca Morgan Frank is a poet of the exact and the harrowing.
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