Bursky, Rick Death Obscura

ISBN 13: 9781932511871

Death Obscura

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A surreality that is lived in--populated by the death-obsessed, yet distracted by levity--Death Obscura is a poetry of glimpses. In these dark fragments, narratives are observed through the curtains. You could call Rick Bursky’s work California Gothic, inhabiting a moody Los Angeles where we move carefully or brazenly, well aware that the neighbors are watching. Death Obscura is Bursky's second collection, and it strikes the perfect balance between off-hand and insistent, ordinary and absurd. This is a sly, moving, and irresistible read.

Rick Bursky was born and raised in New York City. Immediately following high school, he spent four years as a paratrooper in the army, and later earned a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and an MFA from Warren Wilson College. His first full-length collection of poems, The Soup of Something Missing, was published by Bear Star Press (2004) after winning the Dorothy Brunsmen Poetry Prize. Hollyridge Press published his chapbook, The Invention of Fiction. His poems have appeared in many journals including American Poetry Review, Iowa Review, Southern Review, Harvard Review, Prairie Schooner, Black Warrior Review, Shenandoah, and New Letters. Bursky works in advertising and teaches poetry at UCLA Extension and lives in Los Angeles.

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About the Author:

Rick Bursky was born and raised in New York City. Immediately following high school he spent four years as a paratrooper in the army. College would follow, earning Bursky a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and an MFA from Warren Wilson College. His first full-length collection of poems, The Soup of Something Missing, was published by Bear Star Press (2004) after winning the Dorothy Brunsmen Poetry Prize. Hollyridge Press published his chapbook, The Invention of Fiction. He has twice been nominated for a Puchcart Prize and his poems have appeared in many journals including American Poetry Review, Iowa Review, Southern Review, Harvard Review, Prairie Schooner, Black Warrior Review, Shenandoah, and New Letters. Rick works in advertising and teaches poetry at UCLA Extension. He lives in Los Angeles.

From Booklist:

Bursky’s unflinching honesty is certain to resonate with readers as he crystallizes the fleeting moments of life and then cuts to the quick with both precision of language and depth of thought in poems that are at once unsettling and comforting. The collection begins with snapshots of the everyday, then expands into a series of prose poems about death and the supernatural. A woman returns from the dead, another writes her own obituary, and the past smells like a wet dog. Bursky manages to be otherworldly without being inaccessible, somehow making strange phenomena feel all too familiar. The theme of death swirls throughout, yet the poems do not dwell on darkness. Rather, they are revelatory, pulling back the curtain to illuminate troubling and mysterious facets of life we usually choose to keep in the shadows. --Alizah Salario

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