She Speaks Tongues

A book review.

The soon-to-be-released book, She Speaks Tongues, by Karla Van Vleit whets the interest of any who are unfamiliar with asemic writing and the work of Dadaists or abstract expressionists. As those involved in the creative process in almost any discipline can attest, artistic expression tends to evolve away from a literal reinterpretation of reality to a more cerebral approach to what occurs in the creator’s mind during the maturing process.

It is as if the stickiness of lived experiences saturates the beingness of the creator in such a profound way that a new language evolves and this new abstraction is the “thing” that arrives. There are often no words. No recognizable visual notations. No hint of music as silence itself becomes chord and discord. The core of essence simply a newly found isness. Van Vliet shares this central core.

As Kristine Snodgrass advises readers in the introduction, “It is important to clear yourself of any intentions when entering this book.” In asemic writing and with the aid of written words snippets, being is captured.

“You Said, Write, Tell Me Everything,” one chapter’s title, is a poem unto itself accompanying paintings highlighted by “these words/scribbled into posts.” Written words guide the reader as prompts to revelations of places where the reader ponders knowns against unknowns.

She Speaks Tongues hints of new language—not one of primal screams but whispers. It begs us, for this one moment, to simply be—speechless…aware.

Anhinga Press has three new releases. Tragic City by Clemance Heard available now. She Speaks Tongues by Karla Van Vliet will available November 10, 2021. A Sleep That Is Not Our Sleep by E.C. Belli will be available January 10, 2022. Be sure to check all of them out at Anhinga Press.

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