Poetry. Ellis Island is a book of changes. This text exists in two very different modes—one that is stable and one that is endlessly changing. Like Ellis Island, it belongs at the same time to the City and the Sea.
Belonging to the City, Ellis Island is a poem of 624 sonnets, in a determined and unchangeable order.
“In the half-mad tradition of the Italian Futurists (Marinetti et al.), Ted Berrigan, and the brilliant scribblers of Oulipo, Viscusi has constructed a wonderful machine for generating sonnets, an effort that reproduces the equally demented project of Ellis Island itself.”—Mac Wellman