Winner of the 2017 Orison Poetry Prize, selected by Carl PhillipsIn her debut poetry collection, Carly Joy Miller surprises and enraptures on every page. The visceral poems of Ceremonial figure the body at its most sublime and at its most feral, with equal attention. With an unflinching eye, Miller crafts psalms of petition and praise from the raw material of life.The poems of Ceremonial disturb in such a way as to make us entirely rethink who we are, and where. Ceremonial offers a post-apocalyptic landscape to be navigated by poems that together become a moral compassthe compass Protean, however, ever-shifting, maybe trustworthy, and maybe not. Here, to bless a thing can mean to put an axe to it; the impulse to save whats broken competes with an impulse to look indifferently away from it; the topography is one of damageaccident or what only looks, or is meant to look, like accident. And yet there is tenderness, too, and vulnerability. The poems variously revel in, regret, and feel strange compassion for the beast of desireof restlessnessinside us all: Still I kiss / his jaw wild with yellow // jackets. I shepherd / too long in his furs. Part of the power of these poems is the coolness of their sensibility, a refusal to back entirely down: Dont blink in disbelief, were told at one point, Kill from the chandelier with a pearl strand. Swing the lights. I stand persuaded.Carl Phillips, judge of the 2017 Orison Poetry PrizeCarly Joy Millers poems are wild, restless creatures. They scare me in the best way, balancing between pleasure and pain, and brokenness and wholeness, with lyricism, intelligence, and disarming composure: Nothing delights more / than his horns. // How they rouge me. Reading Millers thrilling debut, Ceremonial, Im reminded of what happens when something breaks: theres a brightness, more facets to reflect the light.Maggie SmithHere is the poet who knows the sensual art of speaking in tongues. To be young and lopsided in faithnot a kind of prayer one would expect from the young poet in any age, nevermind 2018. And, yet, here it is, the surprise of discovery. The new voice which is instantly recognizable as that rarest of occurrences: the real thing.Ilya Kaminsky, from the forewordThe current of language swept me up and carried me with seductive grace. I found myself rereading phrases, sentences, and entire poems, eager to experience again how the words were strung together. This fluid linguistic elegance seems counterintuitive, as there is something unbridled at the heart of these poems. They are peopled with spitfire girls in tune with the wilderness of their surroundings. Theres an edgy magic to these characters and these verses, a fable-like quality that still captures the moxie and fire that simmers underneath female coming-of-age.Lauren Kane, the Paris Review blog...
|Number of Pages||:||104 pages|
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