Subversions of idiom and cliché punctuate Shaughnessy’s fourth collection, which revisits the romances, isolation, and music of adolescence. Brave and ferocious, So Much Synth is composed of equal parts femininity, pain, pleasure, critique, and synthesizer. Shaughnessy tenderly winces at her youthful excesses, nurturing humility, while documenting one woman’s evolution toward mature life as lover, mother, and intellect. With So Much Synth, Brenda Shaughnessy has arrived as a major voice in American literature.
“Shaughnessy’s particular genius… is utterly poetic, but essayistic in scope.” —Hilton Als, New Yorker
“Shaughnessy’s voice is smart, sexy, self-aware, hip… consistently wry, and ever-savvy.” —Mary Jo Bang, Harvard Review
“The resonance of Shaughnessy’s poems is that of someone speaking out of an ecstasy and into an ecstasy, momentarily pausing to let us in on the fun, the pain.” —Richard Howard, Boston Review