'White is not blank nor is it pure,' Trevor Ketner writes in [WHITE],
an obsessive, amphetaminate, formally adventurous, book-length exploration of the palimpsestic nature of art, gender, literature, and selfhood. Ketner's meditations on Rauschenberg's multi-faceted work becomes, as well, an examination of racial identity, queerness, and erasure.
—Forrest Gander, author of Be With and The Trace
An impressive debut, [WHITE
is a gestural, lyric analogue of a Rauschenberg combine: 'Art as context exercise;' 'Artist as:/fussiest framer.' From out of a collage of autobiographical detail and opulently performative phrasing, a trenchant essay emerges about white queer art-making, appropriation, erasure, and violence. Ketner might embrace visual art's mid-century white gay avant-garde, but their lusty retrospective glance doesn't idealize its network of lovers, collaborators, and competitors. Instead,
] explores the pleasures and limits of identification, tradition, and desire.
—Brian Teare, author of Doomstead Days
Encountering this immaculate and innovative collection of poems felt as if I were experiencing a deftly curated museum exhibit, a performance art piece, and that delicious liminal tension between prose and poems. Trevor Ketner investigates the ideology of ekphrasis by probing the work of Robert Rauschenberg to uncover what has been hidden and erased by calling out the beauty and failure of art and its interpretations. Narrative and lyric energy pulsate through these stunning poems as theater and tarot reveling in queer desire and deleted intertextuality. 'We set out to be all things and never get there,' writes Ketner, and it's in this reaching and gathering that [WHITE
] truly gleams with prosody, biographical glosses, and play; the accretion is a masterpiece.
—Tiana Clark, author of I Can't Talk about the Trees without the Blood