Inspired by Ovid's instructional Ars Amatoria, with overtones of Renaissance sonnet cycles, Advice for Lovers is a unique and highly wrought volume of poems. Intricate in form, but modern and tawdry in diction, Advice for Lovers walks a fine line between the anything-goes orthography of the Elizabethans and the shifting etymologies of Finnegans Wake. With the inclusion of trans- and third-gender pronouns, the work also argues for a proliferation of pronouns beyond a gendered dichotomy. Divided into two sections, "Advices" and "Nudisms," the book dispenses wisdom on timeless topics of love like "How to Transfigure the Body Utterly," "What to Do When the Muse Becomes Your Lover," and even "How to Leave Your Lover." Yet in the midst of its classical splendor, we encounter more contemporary figures like Johnny Cash, Ricky Martin, and Jack Spicer. Sexy, kinky, disquieting, Advice for Lovers blazes an erotic trail into the 21st century.
Praise for Advice for Lovers:
"Advice for Lovers is the type of book that makes you see language with fresh eyes, challenging you toward something fiercer and more honest yet. It leaves you bruised and aching to be bruised again, and isn't that what you were asking for after all?" —The Rumpus
"What if I'm spirited away to live in a torch song?—Where the landscape is a lover's discourse? Julian Talamantez Brolaski has me in thrall! In this enchanting book, Julian jacks up the artifice and jacks up the feeling." –Robert Glück
"In this aesthetically audacious collection of poems, Julian Talamantez Brolaski offers xir 'advice to lovers' in unabashedly voluptuous language. This is dithyrambic verse, variously festive and feisty, impudent and sad. It is beautiful, but never serene. And how could it be? The difference between 'seeing to' and 'singing to' is not large, and everything in this book suggests that to advise is to love. In giving it, Julian exercises xir native tongue with linguistic amorousness over a wide range of poetic registers. Guidance has never been this much fun; jouissance has never been smarter." –Lyn Hejinian
"'The cure for love is more love,' and the cure for the languishing lyric lies in the architecture of these poems. Julian Talamantez Brolaski's Advice for Lovers builds 'upon the ponderous page' new structures for our most lustful and deviant acts. A highly intelligent form of re-purposed 16-century gestures that rouses the reading body, again and again." –Renee Gladman
"The copy tags the work 'sexy, kinky, disquieting . . . blazes an erotic trail.' And it does so with a pervasive humor that does not make light of but rather sinks the moment deeper into the psyche, where sex, pain, longing, and humor all hang out. I'm so into this book!"—Michelle Tea