A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World by Adam Clay
Poems

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Synopsis

The distilled, haunting, and subtly complex poems in Adam Clay’s A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World often arrive at that moment when solitude slips into separation, when a person suddenly realizes he can barely see the place he set out from however long ago. He now sees he must find his connection back to the present, socially entangled world in which he lives. For Clay, reverie can be a siren’s song, luring him to that space in which prisoners will begin “to interrogate themselves.”

Clay pays attention to the poet’s return to the world of his daily life, tracking the subtly shifting tenors of thought that occur as the landscape around him changes. Clay is fully aware of the difficulties of Thoreau’s “border life,” and his poems live somewhere between those of James Wright and John Ashbery: they seek wholeness, all the while acknowledging that “a fragment is as complete as thought can be.” In the end, what we encounter most in these poems is a generous gentleness--an attention to the world so careful it’s as if the mind is “washing each grain of sand.”
 

About Adam Clay

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Adam Clay is the author of The Wash (Parlor Press, 2006) and three chapbooks. His work has been published in A Public Space, Gulf Coast, and The Iowa Review. He co-edits Typo Magazine, curates the Poets in Print Reading Series at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, and teaches at Western Michigan University. He lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
 
Published April 17, 2012 by Milkweed Editions. 98 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World

Publishers Weekly

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Immediately striking about the poems in Clay’s second book is their lack of self-consciousness. The poet’s voice welcomes the reader’s relaxed engagement with an intimacy that it is neither performing

Mar 26 2012 | Read Full Review of A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of ...

Publishers Weekly

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These poems engage fully the natural world—“light reflected back at the sun,” “the wind/ that changes the landscape,”—even as they understand the individual’s exclusion from it: “nature still acts/ as though it does not see you.” And they seek out reflections of self in natureâ€...

Mar 26 2012 | Read Full Review of A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of ...

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