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The Decline and Fall of the Chatty Empire

by (author) John Emil Vincent

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2023
General, Canadian
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price

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Injury the guide explained / is what / guides explain
Chatty Cathy, while not the first talking doll, was certainly the most widely known, and the only one elevated to idiom. This unauthorized chronicle of her later career luridly illustrates the perils of reaching such linguistic heights with so very little to say.
In The Decline and Fall of the Chatty Empire Jojo, Gypsy May, Marge, Tootles, and Cathy’s entire gang undertake an abject odyssey to celebrity. On their adventure, they have many picnics, listen to NPR inattentively, play charades, and discover sharp things hidden in love’s thick folds. They end where they began, unutterably broken and luminous.
Returning to the snarfs and loving exasperation of his first book, Excitement Tax, John Emil Vincent swipes left and right like no one else writing today. Because why would they?

About the author

JOHN EMIL VINCENT is a Montreal-based poet, editor, and archivist. He's taught literature, queer theory, and poetry writing at Concordia and Queen's in Canada and at Wesleyan, Haverford, and University of Miami in the US. He and his partner, Luis Loya Garcia, emigrated to Montreal in 2010 to get married and escape anti-immigrant laws and sentiment in the US. Vincent earned his BA in Religion and Literary Studies (French) from Williams College where he worked with Louise Glück. We went on to earn an MFA from Warren Wilson College (in North Carolina) where he worked with Heather McHugh and Larry Levis among others. Toward the end of his MFA he started his PhD in English across the state at Duke University where he studied under Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Michael Moon. He was among the earliest cohort to graduate specializing in Queer Theory. While at Duke he published an essay on Swinburne and whipping in Eve's collection Novel Gazing and co-authored an article on Latinamericanism and My Own Private Idaho with Josè Estaban Muñoz. He recently earned his Masters Degree in Library Science (Archives) from Simmons College (in Boston). He has worked doing preservation work for John Ashbery in his home in Hudson, New York, and has worked helping organize James Tate's papers and books after his recent death. He served as Editor-at-Large for the Massachusetts Review, where he edited a double 'especially queer issue' packed with queer literary luminaries and a special issue celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UMass-Amherst Program for Poets and Writers. He's served as poetry editor for the now-defunct Swink magazine and issue editor for tinywords (a web-based haiku journal). He has published poems in jubilat, Denver Quarterly, BlazeVOX, Slope, Spork, failbetter, Drunkenboat, and many other journals. A number of his poems appeared in an anthology of new gay poets, entitled This New Breed, edited by Rudy Kikel (Windstorm Creative 2003). He recently published a chapbook Cheshirization-- containing 9 poems from 'Excitement Tax' with Factory Hollow Press.

John Emil Vincent's profile page

Other titles by John Emil Vincent