By Elizabeth Willis

ISBN-10: 1590178645

ISBN-13: 9781590178645

Finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry

American poet Elizabeth Willis has written an electrifying physique of labor spanning greater than 20 years. With a wild and inquisitive lyricism, Willis—“one of the main awesome poets of her generation” (Susan Howe)—draws us into tricky styles of suggestion and feeling. The intimate and civic deal with of those poems is laced with subterranean affinities between painters, botanists, politicians, witches and agitators. Coursing via this paintings is the readability and resistance of an international that asks the poem to upward thrust to this, to talk its fury.

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Extra info for Alive: New and Selected Poems

Sample text

I speak of the release of Saaduddin Ibrahim and his twenty-seven employees. I do not say more than movement when I speak. I speak of movements larger than our short walk to the beach and our immersion in the sixty-four billion square miles of cool saltwater once we get there. Beloveds, we say we do not want to move anymore. We want to see ourselves as located and bound even if not local, located and bound to someone else’s land, and there by chance even as we do not see ourselves as part of the land.

19 I speak of those dead in other parts of the world who go unreported. I speak of boundaries and connections, locals and globals, butterfly wings and hurricanes. I speak of one hundred and fifty people sheltering at the Catholic Mission in the city of Man. I speak of a diverted Ethiopian airliner, US attacks on Iraqi air defense sites, and warnings not to visit Yemen. Here, where we are with our separate skins polished by sweetsmelling soaps and the warm, clean water of our shower, we sit in our room in the morning and the sounds of birds are outside our windows and the sun shines.

When I speak of the curve of yours cheeks, their soft down, their cell after cell, their smoothness, their even color, I speak of the 31 NASA launch and the child Net safety law and the Native Linux pSeries Server. When I speak of our time together, I speak also of the new theories of the development of the cell from iron sulfide, formed at the bottom of the oceans. I speak of the weight of the alien planet. And I speak of the benefits of swaddling sleeping babies. Beloveds, all our theories and generations came together today in order to find the optimum way of lacing shoes.

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Alive: New and Selected Poems by Elizabeth Willis


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