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NPM Day 28

Today's recommended book is Whelm by dawn lonsinger (Lost Horse Press 2013)


I've been a fan of dawn's work since I read and reviewed her dancing girl press chapbook The Nested Object. It's a thrill to have her first full-length collection to savor. dawn is an exciting, challenging, beautiful voice on the poetry landscape.

Winner of the 2012 Lost Horse Press Idaho Prize in Poetry, Whelm is part wildness and part witness, part love song and part lament. It is an elegy to former times and selves that admits fear of a future where humanity, community and strangeness are lost to manmade systems. It is also an ode to oddity and intricacy. These poems attempt to understand how difficult it is to be a thinking, feeling, speaking being in a largely impenetrable world--both wordless and written over with various conflicting narratives. In this book, people are engulfed by immense forces, from natural disasters to love, and equally overwhelmed by their own feelings, desires, and ideas. A central concern is figuring out how to live an authentic life or have real intimacy in a world that rapaciously wants to name, categorize, and commodify us. Herein, language becomes an intervention, is textured and complex in a way that frees us from abbreviation and generalization. This book suggests that there is violence in the ideal, that cruelty often arises out of category-become-hierarchy, and that perhaps the only conceivable solution to our flooding is flooding . . . to resist being capsized by giving into the roiling mess of our hearts and minds by admitting the endless cataclysms of our love, our inimitable eccentricities, and the ineffaceable plurality of being.

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