To be launched by Peter Boyle
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A nocturnal theme in these poems is evident as they segue the surreal topography of dream, memory, love, foreign lands, with traces of history. The poems navigate through the unknown like the many birds present. The dangers and risks of flight are never lost to these sonnets and stanzas, yet the tone, if beleaguered, is intimate, surprisingly tender. The language is nuanced, resonant with shades, territory, skirmish, suggesting the erasures of a language made specific, where the subject is both at home and captive.
Aftermarks is a collection of poems about encounters, the impressions they leave -- and the unbridgeable interval that exists between any two beings when they meet, however intimate they are. In her poems, "Bishop speaks to and for the human impulse to strive anyway, to '[search] for tenderness', for transformation if not transcendence" (Carl Phillips on Event).
Whether it is the reflection in a cat’s eye, a portrait of the elusive vampire squid, or the haunting plaster casts of Pompeii, central to these poems is the way a controlled image opens into larger meditations on mortality and what it is to be a creature of this world. With a quiet intensity, these poems both compel and unsettle with details that are often beautiful yet strange.