Title: Selected Unpublished Blog Posts of a Panda Express Employee
By: Megan Boyle
Publisher: muumuu house
Megan Boyle is sailing along the height of the Alt-Lit movement. Her collection of poems/blog posts are vital and immediate. In places the book reads more like a series of confessions than anything else. Xanax, poetry, identity and lettuce jokes all reoccur throughout the work.
The trademark of Alt-Lit is it’s complete disengagement with usual literary rules. Boyle refuses to use grammar, correct spelling, or even capital letters. However she clearly defines her life in her work, and links the two through her own brand of formality. Her stanzas are short- frequently one line long; and her wording is immediate. She does use metaphors, but her work is not metaphorical. This is similar to the way she uses rhythm, yet not any formal metre.
Alt-Lit has been rising as a key component of literature since the late 1990s. It has used the rise of the internet, following the patterns of social media as they come. Despite recent scandals regarding Alt-Lit and the objectification of women, the movement continues to grow, and influence other art forms. However, it is an almost entirely American movement right now, with American poets being the key members and American small presses being the ones to spread the word in print format.
Boyle’s other constant theme is sex. She lists her sexual liaisons in an act of Tracey Emin mimickery (mixed with the confessions of Sylvia Plath or Anne Sexton). She also describes sex with each genders, using matter-of-fact language.
Overall Boyle’s work is a major piece of Alt-Lit. It is also more accessible than some other Alt-Lit texts, and so is a useful way into reading the movement.