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Categories: 21st Century, American, First Collections
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (72 pages)
(Pub. Mar 2009)
As the infrequent oncoming headlights scan over you
There is something in that car
Both familiar and awful - you think you see it
Watching you from the woods as you pass
And it will be at home when you get there
from 'Capillarity', XII
How can language retrieve memories and identities? A young man, a first-generation American, explores a true story of three generations of upheaval, migration and homecoming. Rooted in autobiography and in twentieth-century Armenian history, it is also a universal story. Capillarity explores the dark corners and bright expanses of an individual's desire to break out of historical circumstances and belong to a living society and a world. In Arto Vaun's spare, lyrical fragments, personal and collective anguish and hope are caringly exposed in a language both intimate and apart. The possibilities of a future lie in the dreams of language.
'[An] ambitious first collection[...] The writing is open and spacious, swerving constantly from intensely personal details (at times it has the immediacy of diary jottings) to a larger, more ambitious range as Vaun conjures his parents' Armenian background and his own experiences of growing up in the United States.'
Charles Bainbridge, Guardian 'Vaun is one of those inhabitants of the world who can't seem to settle, yet knows exactly where he's from.'
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