Human Resources : Poems by Ryann Stevenson

$22.00

Winner of the Max Ritvo PoetryPrize, Ryann Stevenson’s Human Resources is a sobering andperceptive portrait of technology’s impact on connection and power.

Human Resources followsa woman working in the male-dominated world of AI, designing women that don’texist. In discerning verse, she workshops thefacial characteristics of a floating head named “Nia,” who her boss calls “histype”; she loses hours researching “June,” an oddly sexualized artificiallyintelligent oven; and she spends a whole day “trying to break” a femaleself-improvement bot. Thespeaker of Stevenson’s poems grapples with uneasiness and isolation, even asshe endeavors to solve for these problems in her daily work. She attempts toharness control by eating clean, doing yoga, and searching for age-defying skincare, though she dreams “about the department / that women get reassigned toafter they file / harassment complaints.” With sharp, lyrical intelligence, sheimagines alternative realities where women exist not for the whims of men butfor their own—where they become literal skyscrapers, towering over a world thatnever appreciated them.

Chilling and lucid, HumanResources challenges the minds programming our present and future to considerwhat serves the collective good. Something perhaps more thoughtful and human,Stevenson writes: “I want to say better.”

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Winner of the Max Ritvo PoetryPrize, Ryann Stevenson’s Human Resources is a sobering andperceptive portrait of technology’s impact on connection and power.

Human Resources followsa woman working in the male-dominated world of AI, designing women that don’texist. In discerning verse, she workshops thefacial characteristics of a floating head named “Nia,” who her boss calls “histype”; she loses hours researching “June,” an oddly sexualized artificiallyintelligent oven; and she spends a whole day “trying to break” a femaleself-improvement bot. Thespeaker of Stevenson’s poems grapples with uneasiness and isolation, even asshe endeavors to solve for these problems in her daily work. She attempts toharness control by eating clean, doing yoga, and searching for age-defying skincare, though she dreams “about the department / that women get reassigned toafter they file / harassment complaints.” With sharp, lyrical intelligence, sheimagines alternative realities where women exist not for the whims of men butfor their own—where they become literal skyscrapers, towering over a world thatnever appreciated them.

Chilling and lucid, HumanResources challenges the minds programming our present and future to considerwhat serves the collective good. Something perhaps more thoughtful and human,Stevenson writes: “I want to say better.”

Human Resources : Poems by Ryann Stevenson