Synopses & Reviews
In Failure and I Bury the Body
, selected by D. Nurkse for the National Poetry Series, Sasha West calls upon the tradition of medieval allegory to speak to modern anxieties.
Haunted by a melting Antarctica and the tragedies of the twentieth century, the narrator and the character of Failure take a road trip through the Southwestern desert.
Before long, the Corpse, an inescapable passenger, joins them. As the narrator and Failure attempt to rid themselves of his body, the linked poems investigate desire, extinction, and the made world.
“Sasha West offers us a book that is utterly unprecedented, visionary, disturbing, beautiful, compelling -- here we are being offered a chance to actually occupy this moment that we find ourselves in, what we used to call the future. Here it is.” Nick Flynn
“This stunning debut is an example of why writers call writing good, honest, hard work.” Jericho Brown
“These poems are as much fables of the end of our civilization as they are fables of the self. I can think of no one in her generation who has taken on a more difficult subject, treated it with such passion and intelligence, and given so much linguistic pleasure.” Tom Sleigh
“Failure and I Bury the Body unfolds with the forward motion and wide horizon of myth. I thought of a visceral Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight for the age of storms -- a redemptive journey into the desert, to the ruins of the future.” D. Nurkse
2012 National Poetry Series Selection
About the Author
Sasha West's poems have appeared in the Southern Review, Ninth Letter, Forklift, Ohio, Third Coast, Born, and elsewhere. She holds graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Houston, where she was editor of Gulf Coast. Her work has garnered awards including scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Rice University's Parks Fellowship, Pushcart nominations, and Inprint's Verlaine Prize. She lives in Austin with her husband and teaches writing at the University of Texas's LBJ School of Public Affairs.