Radio Crackling, Radio Gone (Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets)

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9781556592492: Radio Crackling, Radio Gone (Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets)
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Winner of the Hayden Carruth Award Radio Crackling, Radio Gone is a debut collection of poetry that explores multiple logics of perception, association, and interpretation. Navigating the edges where things begin to disappear, the poems inhabit border zones of transformation where memory slides into imagination, wakefulness meets sleep, and things possessed become lost. 

What seemed a mystery was
in fact a choice. Insert bird for sorrow.
What seemed a memory was in fact
a dividing line. Insert bird for wind.
Insert wind for departure when everyone
is standing still. . .

Radio Crackling, Radio Gone was selected from the 1,200 submissions to the Hayden Carruth Award. By the time the anonymous manuscript was chosen as winner, the cover sheet was filled with readers' commentary: "stunning" and "lovely" and a bold "YES!"

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About the Author:

Lisa Olstein was born in 1972 and raised near Boston, Massachusetts. She earned a BA from Barnard and a MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, undertaking additional studies at Harvard Divinity School. Her debut volume, Radio Crackling, Radio Gone, won the prestigious Hayden Carruth Award. She currently directs the Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts & Action in Amherst, Massachusetts.

From Publishers Weekly:

The poems in Olstein's Hayden Carruth Award–winning debut inhabit haunted interiors where "[g]arage doors open and close of their own volition," and landscapes where "everything blooms coldly" and "the sun shines through like a moon." Olstein constructs an almost impersonal, dreamlike atmosphere tinged with malaise, inertia and a sense that anything could happen but very little does. She is drawn to fluidity (references to water abound) and transitional states (from sleep to waking, from day to night); she is devoted to paradox, wonder and uncertainty. Such interests are nothing if not lyrical commonplaces, but Olstein's doggedness and focus lend them, here and there, a fresh vitality: "We huddle for warmth as if in a cave made of snow." The poems sometimes threaten to dissolve into a cloud of their own devising ("I'd never seen it so clear,// so gusty, so overcast, so clear, so calm"), but Olstein reins in her haziness with studiously regulated line lengths and stanza shapes. She is at her best—and certainly most distinctive—punctuating the book's cultivated vagueness with a blast of vivid, arresting detail: "April's first bee stumbles newly minted from its vault." (Nov.)
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