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By Joan Houlihan
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Book Details
  • Author: Joan Houlihan
  • Edition: 1st
Poetry. A powerful sequel to THE US, which ended with the son Ay wounded, rendered silent and immobile by a head injury. In AY: POEMS, the boy is propped up and worshiped, as others project a kind of divinity onto his stillness. While Ay recovers, in a series of lyrical monologues he discovers an individual self-awareness, separate from family and tribe.

"Musically rugged, riddled with insight, resonant, gripping, and chock-full of moments that startle with their vividness ('What eats grass slow and bent- / necked, eyed from the side, is deer') AY: POEMS deploys its fertile idiom not only for the pleasure of it, which is immeasurable, but as a medium through which to investigate the mechanics of subjectivity, grief, empathy, and forgiveness. The result is one of the most radically inventive and invigorating books of poetry I've read in years."—Timothy Donnelly