Tess Brown-Lavoie's Lite Year is both synaptic and postcoital, an open email thread between a lovelorn urban farmer, a still-colonized New England, the body(?) and soul(?), swiss chard, the NBA, the feeling before a feeling, an ass in a pair of jeans, etc. You will recognize the firm and elusive self, the untrained Wikipedia scholar we all slide into being, likewise the therapist we can't afford, the daughter transitioning(?) to caretaker. Brown-Lavoie employs an updated stream of consciousness for organizing mechanism, and as the thoughts(?) pile up, a vision of the world(?) emerges that is both old soul and moment-specific.
This is an entertaining book of epistolary poems in prose which light up a young farmer's year through external and internal signs and cues, reaching out and reaching in, the lightness of being, loving, and dreaming. The poems don't really tell any stories but they narrate an enchanting and intellectually stimulating subjectivity. The subject of the poems is love, growth, illness, wellness, detachment and attachment as told by an embodied disembodied prime mover, a daughter, sister, lover, farmer. There is an addressee, which longed-for presence provides soil for the embedding of contact. A journal of the times of year in which a body grows quiet, then active, then reflective, then expressive, with all the contemporary appliances, texts, and devices. There is a violence to the transmission of effluence and effluvia; a sweetness to the extrusion of affect.
About the Author
Tess Brown-Lavoie is a writer and farmer in Providence, Rhode Island. She runs Sidewalk Ends Farm with her sisters, and plays drums in the band Mother Tongue. Tess works on land access as the RI Field Agent at Land For Good, coordinates the Justice and Agriculture Working Group in Rhode Island, and serves as the Vice President of the National Young Farmers Coalition Board.