Active Reception

A vibrant work of lyric, conceptual, and confessional poetic modes pitched to enact a queer politics of liberation.



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Weight .66 lbs

eBook, Paperback

Active Reception opens to the world around us through its myriad life forms—as a book of bottoming, queer kin, and a history of letters that thinks through a mode of writing from the bottom.


“Noah Ross’s Active Reception is a corporeal tapestry, a verso clench of membrane. Figuring the asshole not as absence or empty voicelessness, but as a form of the body’s narrative capability, Ross articulates gossip, disease, joy and dissolution in mucal blossom, snapped taut by typewriter ribbon. For him, the void is affective trap as much as it is a path of material discernment—a space where balances of labor, erotics and power are liquidated in the queer mingling of blood and come as much as they’re made discrete, parceled out in a series of uneasy structural relations. Both a sensuous act of objection and an art of sensing oneself as object, what Ross posits is no ascetic ideology nor wasteful orgy, but a true perversity of politics. Active Reception mirrors the slick ways in which we absorb and inhibit the violence of capitalist and carceral logics. How we love each other; an airless density, its thin ecstasy of papercut. I can’t, I gag for it.”

-Trisha Low
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ISBN: 9781643620398
Paperback, 88 pages, 7 x 9 in
Publication Date: March 30, 2021

Active Reception expands the limits, the cavity, of liberation. The hole of the poetic bottom grows wider. Commas, slashes, gesture in and out; they apparate across the page and wildly hurl you towards another space, which is a room for aftercare. Syntax is wildly promiscuous. These are the conceptual renderings of a gay choral orgy versed in language poetry. The release of rhythmic momentum is a delightful journey we follow to completion. A sonic pulse, a generously erotic beat. The past is something that isn’t over. Like heirlooms, bottoming is passed down from one generation to the next. Intergenerational pleasure is a modular form of queer kinship.

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Noah Ross is a bookseller, editor, and poet based in Berkeley, CA. Noah is the author of Swell (Otis Books / Seismicity Editions, 2019), and an editor at Baest: a journal …

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