Ceiling of Sticks by Shane Book
(Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry)

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Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Shane Book’s collection, Ceiling of Sticks, is a powerful and unflinching sort of documentary poetics. It bears elegiac witness to the effects of global politics on individual lives. Book’s poems carry us to Uganda, Ghana, Mali, Trinidad, and Canada’s west coast; from a religious sacrifice in Tarahumara, Mexico, to Book’s ailing grandfather’s bedside. They bring an intimate vision of humanity to scenes of inhuman atrocity and suffering; a moment of clarity and empathy to individuals overwhelmed by war or other man-made catastrophes. The attentiveness of the poems and meditative lyrics reveal a careful allegiance to their subjects and a fearless refusal to turn away. Filled with experiences of Africa and Latin America, California and the Caribbean, family and lost love, these poems resonate with the intensity of truth as it is lived and written.

About Shane Book

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Shane Book is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. His work has appeared in numerous American, British, and Canadian magazines, in anthologies—includingBlack Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature PoetryandBreathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets—and on film. His honors include a New York Times Fellowship in Poetry, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and a National Magazine Award.
Published January 1, 2010 by Bison Books. 96 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ceiling of Sticks

Open Letters Monthly

And words like “plotch” and “scree” (both words I had to look up, I’ll admit) have a tendency to draw one’s attention in the way that a poem like “Jabberwocky” (going back a ways) does.

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