Sympathetic Magic

Author: Amy Fleury
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 0809332256
Size: 33.26 MB
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Amy Fleury’s bewitching new collection of poems, Sympathetic Magic, unveils the everyday manifestations of sympathy as well as the connections wrought by “sympathetic magic”—that indelible tether that binds people, places, and objects across time and distance. Fleury’s lyrics journey across the landscapes of childhood and old age, body and spirit, past and future, exploring the boundless permutations of sympathy as it appears in the most surprising locations. Connections reveal themselves in the aggressive silence of the small town or the round penmanship of a loved one, and echo throughout the solitude and regeneration of the forest as well as the antiseptic air of the hospital. At the center of these travels lies the narrator, stretching her limbs from the heart of the heartland, her body a compass summoning us from all directions, emphasizing with tender simplicity that “we all live under the self-same moon, no matter the phase.”

Beautiful Trouble

Author: Amy Fleury
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 080938860X
Size: 50.23 MB
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In her first collection of poems, Kansas native Amy Fleury captures images of dragging clotheslines, baked lawns, and sweet potato babies, inserting them with an earnest dignity into her stories of midwestern life. Beautiful Trouble explores the subtleties of landscape, place, families, girlhood, womanhood, and everyday existence on the prairie. Fleury writes of the Midwest with authenticity, speaks of romance with delicate allure, and recalls the heartbreak of childhood without self-pity. In meditations on resilience and life’s contradictions, Fleury engages her characters fully and paints their souls and sensations evenly in language both rare and beautiful. She is a poet in love with sound and its power to summon majesty from quotidian scenes. Her poems are brief and striking, depending on exquisite word choice and balance to achieve a simple order on the page.

The Primitive Observatory

Author: Gregory Kimbrell
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 0809334801
Size: 77.48 MB
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The poems of The Primitive Observatory, set roughly in the Gilded Age, take readers into a dreamy, alluring world where hapless travelers, doomed heirs, and other colorful types grapple with horrors. This volume offers a dark and evocative experience through the tangible grotesque.

Errata

Author: Lisa Fay Coutley
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 0809334488
Size: 10.42 MB
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"A finely wrought poetry collection about love, loss, and the will to continue in the face of adversity and struggle"--

Instructions Abject Fuming

Author: Julianna Baggott
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 0809335743
Size: 40.12 MB
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In this inventive collection, Julianna Baggott invites readers to reconsider basic assumptions about language, faith, motherhood, and love. With a sharply honed voice featuring parentheticals that often comment on and sometimes undercut what has come before, these poems whirl through contemporary America, engaging with topics as diverse and timely as Russian mail-order brides, Internet bullying, and school shootings. Alongside her cultural commentary, the speaker frankly confronts love and sex, as well as the beauty and brutality of having children. Still other poems reflect questions and considerations of faith: the speaker ponders St. Thomas in a pet store and imagines Jesus explaining to God how it feels to have a body. Baggott’s use of obsolete Old English words subverts common language and creates new ways of interrogating the world around us. There is heartache on these pages, but Baggott also offers humor, such as a complaint about a lover’s eating habits or an extended discourse on a baby’s rattle. Baggott’s latest proves to be a rollicking book sui generis.

Abide

Author: Jake Adam York
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 0809333287
Size: 51.67 MB
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Winner, 2015 Colorado Book Award Finalist, 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award In the years leading up to his recent passing, Alabama poet Jake Adam York set out on a journey to elegize the 126 martyrs of the civil rights movement, murdered in the years between 1954 and 1968. Abide is the stunning follow-up to York’s earlier volumes, a memorial in verse for those fallen. From Birmingham to Okemah, Memphis to Houston, York’s poems both mourn and inspire in their quest for justice, ownership, and understanding. Within are anthems to John Earl Reese, a sixteen-year-old shot by Klansmen through the window of a café in Mayflower, Texas, where he was dancing in 1955; to victims lynched on the Oklahoma prairies; to the four children who perished in the Birmingham church bombing of 1963; and to families who saw the white hoods of the Klan illuminated by burning crosses. Juxtaposed with these horrors are more loving images of the South: the aroma of greens simmering on the stove, “tornado-strong” houses built by loved ones long gone, and the power of rivers “dark as roux.” Throughout these lush narratives, York resurrects the ghosts of Orpheus, Sun Ra, Howlin’ Wolf, Thelonious Monk, Woody Guthrie, and more, summoning blues, jazz, hip-hop, and folk musicians for performances of their “liberation music” that give special meaning to the tales of the dead. In the same moment that Abide memorializes the fallen, it also raises the ethical questions faced by York during this, his life’s work: What does it mean to elegize? What does it mean to elegize martyrs? What does it mean to disturb the symmetries of the South’s racial politics or its racial poetics? A bittersweet elegy for the poet himself, Abide is as subtle and inviting as the whisper of a record sleeve, the gasp of the record needle, beckoning us to heed our history.

Glaciology

Author: Jeffrey Skinner
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 0809332744
Size: 43.37 MB
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“Once I walked a thin rail through a glacier” begins “Shattered Bio,” the first poem in Glaciology, Jeffrey Skinner’s latest collection of poetry. Filled with images that slide into one another in a dreamlike way, from the “squeak of pine trees in a forest” to “pinwheel, the baby’s hand,” the poem provides a precise way of seeing how layers of tenderness and danger melt into one another, inhabiting the same world. At the center of the book, the eighteen-part title poem “Glaciology” takes readers to the core of misunderstandings as it juxtaposes the work of a glaciologist with fractured language, misread cues, and a literalness that defies conventional explanation. The lives of the glaciers are reported with a careful, scientific language that keeps readers emotionally at bay from the effects of their demise, and the speaker comments, “I consider language / mistreated these days, asked to explain itself / to justify at the same time it bears / meaning, to own up / to creation at the moment of use / only, and only that meaning.” The third section of the book further explores the tensions of life and death in ways both whimsical—by focusing on a fly, a vintage clock, rabbits, and Poland, among other subjects—and deeply serious. In the long poem “Event Horizon,” Skinner takes readers into an accident and its aftermath, which brushes too close to death. By the end of the book, however, a new focus comes into view with the birth of a grandchild in “All Things Move toward Disorder Except the Newly Created.”

Zion

Author: TJ Jarrett
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 0809333562
Size: 74.82 MB
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Zion, the latest collection of poems by TJ Jarrett, is the poignant study of the resonating effects of the civil rights movement on one family. Jarrett lovingly explores the minutiae of mortality and race across three generations of “Dark Girls” who have come together one summer to grieve and to remember as one of them passes to the farther shore—a place beyond retribution, where there is only forgiveness. The Mississippi of Jarrett’s collection is alive with fireflies and locusts and murders of crows; yet for some, it is a wasteland of unanswered prayers, burning evenings, and the shades of dead or disappeared loved ones. There, the dark nights of the soul weigh long and heavy, and “every heart has its solstice, and its ache is unrelenting.” Yet much as every solstice has an equinox, every time to kill has a time to forgive. Throughout the volume, the author imagines opportunities for compassion on multiple levels, from sweeping pardons to the most intimate of mercies. Jarrett’s faceless narrator confesses the past through conversation and exploration with notorious Mississippi governor Theodore Bilbo: two minds, two hearts, two races at last face to face. At once brutal and achingly tender, Jarrett’s volume itself is a vibrant and musical body, singing to all its parts.

The Laughter Of Adam And Eve

Author: Jason Sommer
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 0809332795
Size: 78.88 MB
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Near the beginning, just after the fall, was laughter—at least as Jason Sommer imagines it. In the title poem, Eve catches Adam’s hilarity over what passes for a tree outside of Eden, their laughter a heady combination of longing, defiance, and perhaps even relief, through which they find they now possess “a knowledge of evil that is good,” an understanding that will carry them through life after paradise. Through settings mythical, historical and biblical, through characters that range from Gunga Din to St. Kevin of Glendalough, the poems in this book often search out meaning in the tracing of origins: of a bird’s song, of laughter, of a word, of language itself. Poems explore the source of the word brouhaha, the song of the “resignation bird,” and the dangerous way a poem of Anna Akhmatova enters the world, under the eyes and ears of Stalin’s secret police, escaping the house arrest its author must endure. In The Laughter of Adam and Eve, Sommer speaks from a multitude of voices and perspectives, in short, formal lyrics as well as longer free-verse narratives. From the archetypal parents of us all, down through anonymous voices, throughout these pages, women and men speak to—and of—each other, in many roles and relations—as lover and beloved, as child and parent, as dreamer and dreamt of. The poems attempt to travel beyond the traditional binary in search of the common thread that binds us to one another. Perhaps chief among them is story: whether recasting myth so that Pygmalion and Narcissus become a single figure or using an Appalachian tale retold as a message, lover to lover, these poems narrate, while engaging deeply with those special properties that poetry can bring to story.

Seam

Author: Tarfia Faizullah
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 0809333260
Size: 30.64 MB
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The poems in this captivating collection weave beauty with violence, the personal with the historic as they recount the harrowing experiences of the two hundred thousand female victims of rape and torture at the hands of the Pakistani army during the 1971 Liberation War. As the child of Bangladeshi immigrants, the poet in turn explores her own losses, as well as the complexities of bearing witness to the atrocities these war heroines endured. Throughout the volume, the narrator endeavors to bridge generational and cultural gaps even as the victims recount the horror of grief and personal loss. As we read, we discover the profound yet fragile seam that unites the fields, rivers, and prisons of the 1971 war with the poet’s modern-day hotel, or the tragic death of a loved one with the holocaust of a nation. Moving from West Texas to Dubai, from Virginia to remote villages in Bangladesh and back again, the narrator calls on the legacies of Willa Cather, César Vallejo, Tomas Tranströmer, and Paul Celan to give voice to the voiceless. Fierce yet loving, devastating and magical at once, Seam is a testament to the lingering potency of memory and the bravery of a nation’s victims. Winner, Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, 2014 Winner, Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award, 2015 Winner, Drake University Emerging Writers Award, 2015