Comprised of four heroic crowns of sonnets, Alicia Mountain’s Four in Hand is both formal and experimental, ranging from lyric romantic and familial narratives to blank verses of reconfigured found text pulled from financial newsletter emails. Language and white space equally captivate with their sparsity and abundance as Mountain pursues the implications of national political identity with intersectional awareness. These poems interrogate our collective complicity in late-stage capitalism, drone warfare, the election of Donald Trump, environmental degradation, mental health crises, and the dawn of Covid-19 through the lens of gay poetic lineage, regionalism, and familial kinships structures.
As in all lived experiences, treacheries and triumphs fade in and out of focus and intimacy, heartbreak, travel, eroticism, joy, and quotidian happenings offer character and momentum across non-linear narrative arcs. Through enthralling images, gripping storytelling, and world-building, Four in Hand carves out necessary space for lesbian gaze, speakership, and personhood. From the back corner of a vast, sprawling, yet gorgeous landscape of thought, Mountain’s poems beckon us inside.