Elizabeth Robinson Under That Silky Roof

ISBN 13: 9781886224711

Under That Silky Roof

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Poetry. The poems of this new collection are concerned with the interplay of domestic life—its companionship, its fecundity, its losses—and manifestations of the abstract or, as she has put it, with "the brick floor from which the/kingdom of God extends/or could extend." "Robinson has reinvented the 'uses of enchantment'"—Ann Lauterbach on APPREHEND. "a poetry of desire in the most complex sense"—Paul Hoover. "What stays a marvel in this impeccable poet's writing is her determination to bridge between the physically given world and that other we gloss with words, yet apprehend insistently as the defining presence of our lives themselves"—Robert Creeley. "Ashbery's pronouns raise more questions than they answer, and Robinson's God works a similar trope...that interplay with manifestations of the abstract is what her poems address, expose, and refuse to back away from"—Beth Anderson.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Robinson is an advocate for homeless individuals in Boulder, Colorado where she has lived for ten years. She has been the recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award, as well as a winner of the National Poetry Series and a grant from the Fund for Poetry. Her books include APPREHEND, winner of the Fence Modern Poets Prize, APOSTROPHE (Apogee Press, 2006), Three Novels (Omnidawn, 2011), COUNTERPART (Ahsahta Press, 2012), and the mixed genre meditation, ON GHOSTS (Solid Objects, 2013), which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Elizabeth is a co-editor of Instance Press.

From Publishers Weekly:

Beginning with an egg and ending with a child, 2001 National Poetry Series–winner Robinson meditates in her new collection upon the journey between conception and birth with delicacy and richness. In short, elegant, at times prosaic and at times abstract lines arranged in couplets, double-spaced stanzas or other spare free verse forms, Robinson (Apprehend, 2003) creates stream-of-consciousness sequences and parables that narrate the desire to find something that was lost or never was, manifested as the unborn child. In one poem, a man wants to claim a golden egg balancing on a fence, but is told "someone put it here on purpose Leave it/there, so they'll find/it again." Soon, "the possibility of finding again/ fills up all space." Occasionally Robinson's penchant for abstraction makes the poems feel stilted and removed ("Her/ corporeal reference/ pointing liquidly to omission,/ to what unfooted augmentation") but mostly Robinson grounds these poems with reminders of the world's physicality: "teeth, stubble, the particular/ clarity of respiration in the darkness/ What chews or speaks or gambols/ under that silky roof." Her simplest statements are her most powerful, such as the book's final line, which movingly evokes a life disrupted by something that does not yet exist: "The child is a pea under the mattress/ they balance so high over." (Sept. 15)
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