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Fjords Vol. 1by Zachary Schomburg
Synopses & Reviews
As one of the most exciting new voices in American poetry, Zachary Schomburg's previous books have enthralled thousands of readers with surreal landscapes populated by gorillas in people clothes, jaguars, plagues of hummingbirds, and even Abraham Lincoln. His poems have inspired art installations, shadow puppetry, rock albums, and string quartets. In Fjords, Schomburg inhabits the icy landscape, walking among all his little deaths as he explores the narrow inlets between the transcendent and the mundane. These are poems to be read by torchlight or with no light at all. As Schomburg explains, There is so much blood in the trees. It will be easy to fall in love like this.
"It's said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results, something Schomburg understands. In his third collection, 'the world is always as it is, and always as it seems.' Narrative without losing lyrical beauty, witty without losing gravity, the poems — though fiercely contemporary — still uphold the priorities to delight ('I am working in the ticket booth of the movie theater when you come in and take off my pants') and to instruct ('Nothing is anyone's fault, which is something we must remember. The world is just a bag of seeds and there is nowhere for the seeds to be planted'). Capping off the book is an index (including classic themes — 'Truth,' 'Beauty,' 'Death,' 'Birth' — along with some new ones — 'Airplanes, burning'), which suggests these poems should be reread, even referenced — as if this book is a manual for transcending 'wild meaninglessness.' 'Falling in love with the death thought is a way of never really dying,' Schomburg writes. 'You let an idea hold you in its real arms.' These are wildly imagined poems to fall in love with and reread." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Zachary Schomburg may be one of the sincerest surrealists around." Publishers Weekly
"Schomburg is possibly the man who will save poetry for all of those readers who are about to give up on the genre." The Huffington Post
"Schomburg brings a sense of stringency to his dark but airy towers of invention, dismantling easy assumptions. The poems are fun to read and they get below surfaces." Robert Pinsky
"Poetry that aims, admirably, to unsettle. And who doesn't like to be haunted by a poem?" Kelly Link
2013 Oregon Book Award for Poetry
About the Author
Zachary Schomburg is the author of The Man Suit (Black Ocean, 2007), Scary, No Scary (Black Ocean, 2009), Fjords Vol. 1 (Black Ocean, 2012) and The Book of Joshua (McSweeney's, forthcoming). He co-does Octopus Books and Octopus Magazine. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
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