Synopses & Reviews
Emotionally charged poetry that offers an uncanny poetics of intimacy, from an acclaimed poet.
"In this quiet, second collection Zawacki, who is co-editor of Verse, circumnavigates a gray, dead-end lyric tributary (an 'anabranch' being a river's arm that bogs down in sandy soil), tracking a figure who 'followed himself and forgot/ himself... who counterfeited/ the garroted path, then counter-/ feited himself.' The poet's proxy moves tentatively; his philosophical queries turn to bewilderment and wonder, his selves perpetually dissolving, trying to lash themselves back together: 'one of me stuttered and one/ of me broke, and one of me tried// to fasten a line to one of/ me untying it from me.' At their best, these lyrics are as haunting and delicate as early C.D. Wright, with a similar, reluctant faith in breath and water, light and snow, a similar penchant for devastating plainsong: 'I would say/ I love her, but I is too strong a word/ and love not strong enough.' Less successful than the first two lyric series is the book's final section, a prose poem sequence in which the slippage between landscape and imagination is made explicit: 'Such were the spells of a landscape that couldn't be trusted although we'd devised it ourselves, if only to attribute otherwise....' Paradoxically, this section reads as evasive, offering moments of overt interpretation or tangible scenic grounding (the docks, the factory, the swimming hole), which are then submerged in opacity and abstraction. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Emotionally charged poetry offers an uncanny poetics of intimacy.
Anabranch, the sequel to Andrew Zawacki's critically acclaimed By Reason of Breakings, is a record of philosophical movement into the world, a meditation upon its shadowy routes, and a requiem for what is lost along the way. Composed of three sequences introduced by a "Credo" that professes, "I believe / in the violence of not knowing," this volume of poems explores alienation, disruption, and disjunction at the levels of language, perception, feeling, and the self. In a broken landscape defined by negation and an asymptotic relation to a divinity that might not exist, Zawacki pursues a poetics of intimacy, impelled by what the heart decides, and offers a visionary new way for being in the world. Poems in Anabranch have been awarded both the 2002 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award and the 2002 Cecil Hemley Memorial Award by the Poetry Society of America.