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Circle Back: Poems

Circle Back: Poems

Current price: $16.00
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Milkweed Editions
Off the Beaten Path Bookstore
2 on hand, as of Apr 16 7:23am
(Poetry Books)
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An aching meditation on the cyclical nature of grief and memory's limited capacity to preserve everything time takes from us.How does one make sense of loss--personal and collective? When language and memory are at capacity, where do we turn? Confronted with "a year meant to end all / those to come," acclaimed poet Adam Clay questions whether anything is "wide enough to contain what's left / of hope." In the absence of a clear way forward, the poems of Circle Back wander grief's strange and winding path. Along the way, the line between reality and dreams blurs: cows stare with otherworldly eyes, 78s play under cactus needles, a father becomes his own child, and the dead become something more complicated--a "sketch turned to painting / left in a room dusty from / lack of passing through."But amidst these liminal landscapes, a "thread of promise" persists in poetry. As flawed as language is, we still turn to it for longevity, for love, like "Keats, / sketching himself back into place." Vulnerable and nuanced, Clay details the difficult work of healing--and in doing so, captures those needful moments of reprieve in grief's "strange circle." Two friends dashing through a sprinkler. A garden of startled birds. Out for a run some gray morning: a sudden patch of wildflowers. Circle Back is a bared heart, one readers will find as thoughtful as it is tender.

About the Author

Adam Clay is the author of five collections of poems: Circle Back, To Make Room for the Sea, Stranger, A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World, and The Wash. His work has appeared in Boston Review, Ploughshares, Cincinnati Review, jubilat, Georgia Review, and elsewhere. A recipient of a Literary Arts Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission, he teaches at the University of Southern Mississippi and edits Mississippi Review.