Synopses & Reviews
The anticipated second book by the poet Mary Szybist, author of Granted
, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
knew how to burn themselves through,
how to make themselves shrines to their own longing.
The spectacular was never behind them.
-from “The Troubadours etc.”
In Incarnadine, Mary Szybist restlessly seeks out places where meaning might take on new color. One poem is presented as a diagrammed sentence. Another is an abecedarium made of lines of dialogue spoken by girls overheard while assembling a puzzle. Several poems arrive as a series of Annunciations, while others purport to give an update on Mary, who must finish the dishes before she will open herself to God. One poem appears on the page as spokes radiating from a wheel, or as a sunburst, or as the cycle around which all times and all tenses are alive in this moment. Szybist's formal innovations are matched by her musical lines, by her poetrys insistence on singing as a lure toward the unknowable. Inside these poems is a deep yearning — for love, motherhood, the will to see things as they are and to speak. Beautiful and inventive, Incarnadine is the new collection by one of Americas most ambitious poets.
"Mary Szybist's great poetic gifts confront the limits of human compassion, delving into some of its agonized consequences. Her works ambition is the creation of a free human in the midst of the seemingly endless tetherings of desire." Jorie Graham
"Mary Szybist's poems are about religious and sexual longing and about suspicion of religious and sexual longing....She has a gift for music, a gift for aphorism, a gift for being haunted." Robert Hass
"Mary Szybist's lovely musical touch is light and exact enough to catch the weight and grind of love. This is a hard paradox to master as she does." Kay Ryan
About the Author
Mary Szybist is the author of a previous poetry collection, Granted, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She teaches at Lewis & Clark College and lives in Portland, Oregon.