Trickster Feminism is a demonstration of how to go on, when one can’t go on ... Her intimate knowledge of the 'outrider' tradition is, at this point, so invaluable that she should be considered not only a 'national' treasure, but an international one ... In Trickster Feminism, Waldman definitively shifts her investigations from masculinity and the war impulse...to a new strain of feminism, one that is agile, wary, angry, creative, persistent, tricky ... It’s a fascinating form, surprisingly difficult to write, as it disallows repetition, rhyme and echo — the same techniques that make the chant so powerful.
Anne Waldman has challenged readers with her rigorous, eclectic writing and her insistence on overthrowing accepted notions about male patriarchy and female limitations ... As the work unfolds, Waldman presents a complicated panorama of places and events — including resistance after the 2016 U.S. presidential election — in these accomplished, intertwined pieces.
The pervading mood in Trickster Feminism is of a piece with our national mood: gloom-filled, sorrowing, yet occasionally threaded with hope ... Reading Waldman is like being in the world today, neither inured to the news nor lacerated by our own empathy ... Readers who are heavily invested in (productive) irony may resist when Waldman... It’s easy to feel drawn to this poet’s idealism and generosity of spirit; hard, as well, not to be grateful for moments when she indulges in a little self-puncturing. Hints of the trickster, indeed, that most intelligent subversive.
Waldman’s erudite and experimental language is notable ... The collection is fragmentary and obtuse, even for Waldman, and requires some decoding, but the subtext is a rich and stirring commentary on feminine empowerment.