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The Nine Senses - cover

The Nine Senses

Melissa Kwasny

Publisher: Milkweed Editions

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The prize-winning author of Thistle shares “a quietly magnificent collection of prose poems” that explore how we connect to the world around us (Orion). 
Drawing inspiration from the work of Rene Char, Melissa Kwasny presents a new kind of prose poem in The Nine Senses. These experiments challenge the way we read sequentially, making each line equal to the next as disparate figures and topics appear side by side: Dylan Thomas, Roman water lines, Paul Celan, Shirin Neshat, anti-depressants, Buddhism, William Carlos Williams, Trakl, cancer, Beckett, Pound, Breton, the Iraq War, telekinesis, clairvoyance, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and Yeats, among many others. 
Through it all, Kwasny asks how we tie ourselves to the world when our minds are always someplace other than where we are? As bromides and aphorisms degrade, we are left with startling new realizations. Obliquely touching on the cancer of a friend, her own troubled relationship with her father, and the break-up of a nearly thirty-year partnership, Kwasny also questions mortality, temporality, and eternity. Kwasny then abandons abstraction with some very direct poems about her own cancer and diagnosis.
Available since: 03/15/2011.
Print length: 114 pages.

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