Imaginary Vessels by Paisley Rekdal

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She revels in detail but writes vast, moral poems that help us live in a world of contraries in which “we hold still for the camera, believing/ it will shore up time, knowing it won’t.” These are some of the best lyric poems being written today.
-LA Times

Synopsis

"Compelling, appealing, cinematic . . . Rekdal refreshes the meaning and the image of being displaced in this world." —The Boston Globe

"Rekdal's work deeply satisfies, for it witnesses and wonders over the necessary struggles of human awareness and being." —Rain Taxi

"In acknowledging the disappointing facts of our existence and singing her way into its amazement, she has created poetry that lives alongside the misery we sometimes witness—and sometimes cause." —Slate

Paisley Rekdal questions how identity and being inhabit metaphorical and personified "vessels," from blown glass and soap bubbles to skulls unearthed at the Colorado State Mental Institution. Whether writing short lyrics or a sonnet sequence celebrating Mae West, Rekdal's intellectually inquisitive and carefully researched poems delight in sound, meter, and head-on engagement. Illustrated with twelve Andrea Modica photographs.

From "You're":

Vague as fog and turnip—hipped, a creel of eels
that slithers in stains. Dirty slate, you're
Diamond Lil. She's you, you say. You're her. She's I. O
Mae, fifth grade, we dressed in feathers and our mothers' slit
pink slips, dipped into your schema and your accent,
aspiring (like you) to be able to order coffee and have it
sound like filth . . .

Paisley Rekdal is the author of four books of poetry, a book of personal essays, and a mixed media book of photography, poetry, fiction and non-fiction. She lives in Salt Lake City and teaches at the University of Utah.

 

About Paisley Rekdal

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Paisley Rekdal: Paisley Rekdal is the author of four books of poetry, a book of personal essays, and a mixed media book of photography, poetry, fiction and non-fiction. She lives in Salt Lake City and teaches at the University of Utah.
 
Published November 8, 2016 by Copper Canyon Press. 110 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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LA Times

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Reviewed by Craig Morgan Teicher on Nov 11 2016

She revels in detail but writes vast, moral poems that help us live in a world of contraries in which “we hold still for the camera, believing/ it will shore up time, knowing it won’t.” These are some of the best lyric poems being written today.

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