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Amanda Montei


This sold-out chapbook is available as a free ebook. Read or download the PDF here.

Praise for The Failure Age

“The protagonist walks the Failure Age as if it was a runway and she was a supernatural, rather than a supermodel. She is a triptych of Ariels—the female embodiment of aspiration—the very breath of ambition, the aerial view—as it were—of the glass ceiling (putting the ass back into it, naturally).She is, in part, Disney’s Ariel from The Little Mermaid—a footless footloose Princess putting her foot in her mouth, dreaming of ideals while misnaming things snarfblats and dinglehoppers. …She is, in part, Shakespeare’s Ariel from ‘The Tempest’ bound to serve either the silenced and pregnant witch Sycorax (the mater mal, the symbolic bad breast) or bound to serve the unscrupulous slave-master and colonizer Prospero (the papa capital, the symbolic father). She is, in part, Sylvia Plath’s Ariel, weary of obligatory sensuality and exhausted by the relentless objectification that corners her every ambition.” —Divya Victor, Harriet at the Poetry Foundation (read the rest, including an interview with Amanda)

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April 2014
Limited-edition handmade chapbook
5.5 x 7 inches
34 pages
Inkjet and faux fur on 80lb magenta cover
Natural white interior
Handsewn 4-hole binding in natural Irish linen

Prose poetry or flash fiction? Fairy tale or domestic romance? The thirty-three short sections of The Failure Age by Amanda Montei flip through the daily lives of the yearning-to-be-iconic Woman and her violin-eating Husband, with occasional interruptions by Mother. Subtle, sexy, and hilarious by turns.

The Failure Age was the second chapbook in the 2014 series from Bloof Books. Each chapbook in the series was be released in a limited edition of one hundred numbered copies, followed by a digital release, and eventually it will be included in a volume of our paperback chapbook compilation, Bound.


He takes up peripatetic dialogues on the rug. She misses the violin, the sitar. “Let me spread something on you,” she says. She begs. “I have to remain active!” she says. “I have to use this body or it gets so loud!” She imagines she will attend yoga by moonlight one day, high on a skyscraper. In a spinal twist, the moon pressing patterns into her eyes, she will decide that meditative movement is the ultimate postmodern act, and will not be sure if she likes this revelation. She will not be sure about such groundlessness. “We’re here to shed our stories,” the teacher will say, a calm palm on her back. “We’re here to shed ideas.” (The night will creak like bad stairs. Nonplussed.) She will shed the idea that as a child she cried at the sight of ponytails. She will shed the idea that she was once a poor casual lover. She will shed the idea that she will ever understand what clouds are made of, and she will shed the idea that her head will never grow into itself, the way people say your feet do. She will shed the idea that the failure age is upon them, and then all the ideas will come rushing back.

Poems in this chapbook have previously appeared, in slightly different forms, in Gigantic, Joyland, Explosion-Proof Magazine, PANK, and Delirious Hem.

Additional information


Montei, Amanda