THE HAPPY END / ALL WELCOME by Mónica de la Torre
The Happy End/ All Welcome is set in a job fair inspired by the Nature Theater of Oklahoma from Kafka's unfinished novel Amerika: the largest theater company in the world is recruiting all kinds of employees. De la Torre builds, fastens, cuts, pastes, performs, and extrudes a variety of poems to suit this most serious situation comedy: poems as job interviews, poems as postings, poems as questionnaires, reports, speeches, lyrical rants... At its heart, this playful bricolage explores the norms of the workplace and its notions of competence, while tackling office design, performativity, and skilled vs. deskilled creative labor.
Really, de la Torre’s book is a love letter to the imagination—a paean to what remains uneven in uniform office environments, what rings out of tune when one is reading from a script. […] The reader is required to play, too—to riff, malapropize, to slapstick. De la Torre’s aim, as Wittgenstein once put it, may be "to teach you to pass from a piece of disguised nonsense to patent nonsense."
-- Darcie Dennigan, Colorado Review
De la Torre masterfully tackles the contradictions embedded in the workplace, where the body feels simultaneously free to choose the positions it will hold and constrained by the structure it occupies.
-- Michael Valinsky
In wit, in range, de la Torre’s gifts are all-too apparent, but her real brilliance is in bringing together seemingly mutually exclusive elements: the poem/the story, the emotive/the theoretical, the amusing/the tragic.
-- Dan Fall, The Brooklyn Rail