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ISBN: 978 1 857549 84 3
Categories: 21st Century, American, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: May 2008
216 x 154 x 6 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
I am listening in this silence that precedes. Forget
everything, start listening. Tipping point, flash
convective chimneys in the seas bounded by Greenland. Once there was thunder and also
salvos at the four corners of the horizon, that was
In Hell they empty your hands of sand, they tell you to refill them with dust and try
to hold in mind the North Atlantic Deep Water…
from ‘Positive Feedback Loop’ by Jorie Graham
Sea Change is a poetry of the tipping point, when what is lost and damaged in our world and our humanity is forever irrecoverable, when time itself has disintegrated. Jorie Graham, acclaimed as one of America’s most innovative poets, writes in her new collection the words for the ‘silence-that-precedes’ the once-unimaginable future in which the only ways of being human we have ever known, can no longer be sustained. With a luminous formal beauty, Sea Change brings us to the threshold of that terrifying silence and affirms the fragile tenacity of the human essence that binds us to the world. It is poetry as urgent as it is essential.
Cover painting Peter Sacks, I Remember Nothing, 2006, courtesy of Galerie Piece Unique. Photograph by Didier Morel. Cover design by StephenRaw.com.
LATER IN LIFE
THE VIOLINIST AT THE WINDOW, 1918
POSITIVE FEEDBACK LOOP
NO LONG WAY ROUND
Awards won by Jorie Graham Commended, 2017 Poetry Book Society Recommendation.
(Fast) Winner, 1996 Pulitzer Prize
(The Dream of the Unified Field) Short-listed, 2012 T S Eliot Prize (P L A C E) Short-listed, 2012 Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection (P L A C E)
'The poems in Jorie Graham's Sea Change might look unapproachable but they are models of clarity and purity.'
Nicola Smyth, 'Books of the Year', the Independent, 28 December 2008
Praise for Jorie Graham 'Fast might immerse us in monstrous acts of environmental and political violence, our obsession with progress, money, and our own individualistic, virtual worlds, but what still succeeds is the wish to live on. Perhaps if we were to listen to that wish we might, amongst all the acceleration, stop and think again.'
- The London Magazine
'We should be grateful to Jorie Graham for her own heroics of perception, even if they show up our ordinary insight. If we can't see, with Graham, "the spots where the birds must eventually land", at least we know now where we should be looking.'
Gwyneth Lewis, Times Literary Supplement. 'Graham's best book in at least a decade.'
Publishers Weekly 'One of the finest poets writing today.'
'She is among the most important poets in North American literature today.'
Peyton Brien, University of Toronto, 1995
'Jorie Graham is a poet of staggering intelligence.'
'There is a buoyancy in Graham's poetry, a freshness of vision which is rare in contemporary poetry.'
Roger Caldwell, Times Literary Supplement, 27th June 2003
'After each new book by Graham, I wonder what she will do next. Her courage in remaking her style over the years is exemplary... to read under Graham's powerful impetus is to have one's consciousness, like molten glass, pulled into unforeseen - and sometimes almost unbearable - shapes.'
Helen Vendler, London Review of Books, 23rd January 2003
'...one of our most highly imaginative and innovative poets. Her speculative and sensual poetry echoes an aesthetic and cultural past but is, truly, like nothing we've seen before.'
David St. John, The Los Angeles Times, 1996
'There are erotic poems, elegiac poems, and there are dauntingly difficult, allusive and even impenetrable poems. Throughout there is a powerful, engaging intelligence and an affirming lyric grace.'
Stephen Matterson on The Errancy, in Poetry Ireland Review, vol. 62
'Like all good poets, she illuminates moments, but she is like no one else, neither in her rhythms, nor in her insistence on opening up, scrutinizing, and even reversing our experience of time and space within these moments.'
Stephen Burt, Times Literary Supplement, 17th May 1996
'Graham shows us a future direction in American poetry, and that future is a welcome place.'
The Harvard Review
'A mesmerising American voice; one wants to hear its continuation.'
Helen Vendler, The New Yorker
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