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Sea Change

Jorie Graham

Sea Change
RRP: GBP 9.95
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857549 84 3
Categories: 21st Century, American, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: May 2008
216 x 154 x 6 mm
96 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • I am listening in this silence that precedes. Forget
                                                   everything, start listening. Tipping point, flash
                                                   point
    convective chimneys in the seas bounded by Greenland. Once there was thunder and also
                                                    salvos at the four corners of the horizon, that was
                                                    war.
    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.


    I
    SEA CHANGE
    EMBODIES
    THIS
    GUANTÁNAMO
    UNDERWORLD
    FUTURES

    II
    LATER IN LIFE
    JUST BEFORE
    LOAN
    SUMMER SOLSTICE
    FULL FATHOM
    THE VIOLINIST AT THE WINDOW, 1918

    III
    NEARING DAWN
    DAY OFF
    POSITIVE FEEDBACK LOOP
    BELIEF SYSTEM
    ROOT END
    UNDATED LULLABY
    NO LONG WAY ROUND 
    Jorie Graham was born in New York City in 1950, the daughter of a journalist and a sculptor. She was raised in Rome, Italy and educated in French schools. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris before attending New York University as an undergraduate, where she studied filmmaking. She received ... read more
    Awards won by Jorie Graham Winner, 2012 Forward Prize for Best Collection  (PLACE) Winner, 2017 Wallace Stevens Award for Lifetime Achievement  Commended, 2017 Poetry Book Society Recommendation.
    (Fast)
    Winner, 1996 Pulitzer Prize
    (The Dream of the Unified Field)
    Short-listed, 2012 T S Eliot Prize () Short-listed, 2012 Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection ()
     '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 'Even when these poems are at their darkest and most purposefully incoherent in terms of voice and tone, there remains a trace of language's ability to seek out, transmit and make visible the impact of the world on the self for others to experience.'
    Oxonian Review


    'The reason that poets are addicted to poetry and they write it for a lifetime, is because a poem will permit you to go through life and have an experience you can't have by any other means.'
    Jorie Graham talking to Ian McMillan on Radio 3's The Verb, 15 December 2017


     'Another striking book from Jorie Graham, and one that frequently reaches fever-pitch in its frantic explosion of the lyric mode. Graham's themes in these poems -ranging through sickness, death and environmental crises -would rattle any reader, and her long lines, clamouring fragments and sprawling chorus of voices increase this effect to a dramatic extent. These are urgent, stressed and stressful poems that produce a panicked motion-sickness as you spiral through them. This is an important, desperate and, at times, frightening, book that truly captures the tone of contemporary times.'
    The Poetry School Books of the Year 2017


     'In FAST, [Graham's] subject is mortality - her own (she was diagnosed with cancer five years ago), her parents', that of intellect and culture (in dementia, in digital overwhelm), that of the planet. It is a collection of sensual poems so urgent that, by the end, they have abandoned traditional beginnings and are physically bunched up on the right-hand side of the page. And through it all, an unwavering, serious belief in the power of poetry, a repeatedly inhabited rejection of Auden's assertion that poetry makes nothing happen.'
    The Guardian


     '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
     '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
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The Carcanet Blog W.S Graham: Lives & Letters read more Vahni Capildeo: Honouring the Water Dragon: A Walk in Shiga Prefecture read more Jane Draycott: Translating 'Pearl' read more Patrick Worsnip: A Journey Through Translation read more Notes on Language and Poetry read more Gabriel Levin: By Way of a Preface read more
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