WoO (Letter Machine Editions, 2016) is a hagiography written under the spiritual guide of a heretic, or, if you prefer, a creative translation of the original 116 pages of The Book of Mormon lost by Joseph Smith (founder and first prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), never found, and subsequently rewritten as The Book of Mormon which is now circulated for free around the world in over 100 languages. WoO unchurches and unmoors an American religion that operates within violent, racist and misogynistic contexts. Mormonism is no longer the fringe or fundamentalist culture society has come to expect, yet it is the “mongrel” status of the book that Angle continues to reckon with as a descendent of Mormon pioneers and a former Mormon.

WoO is thus ultimately not a project of historical recovery. The book situates itself squarely in the tradition of poems including history like Olson’s Maximus, many of Susan Howe’s books, and Claudia Rankine’s American Lyrics. However, Angle’s work here is not exactly to include this history into a larger narrative about Mormons and their secrets, patriarchy, or the invasion and colonization of the American West. It absolutely does that, and each of these histories are given their due criticism. But more, WoO puts pressure on our reliance on ideas like proof, the ease with which we assign heroism to acts of exposure, and the ways these ideas become fodder for the stories masculinist institutions tell about themselves.

Alison Carden, Full Stop

Angle does not merely trace the violence and indiscretions of her topic, though they are numerous, especially if the legacy of his creation is considered. Instead, she builds a network of histories that spans nearly two centuries and at least one continent while encapsulating an enormous spectrum of motives behind the creative act. As a translator, she complicates her source material in a myriad of satisfying ways [...].

Michael McLane, Sugar House Review

WoO plays language against itself in a lexically dizzying yet musical composition; the words are incantatory, and the book has a whiff of prophecy about it. Yet the linguistic search for connection remains firmly rooted in the body[...].

 

Aza Pace, Gulf Coast

Angle does not merely trace the violence and indiscretions of her topic, though they are numerous, especially if the legacy of his creation is considered. Instead, she builds a network of histories that spans nearly two centuries and at least one continent while encapsulating an enormous spectrum of motives behind the creative act. As a translator, she complicates her source material in a myriad of satisfying ways [...].

Michael McLane, Sugar House Review