Life of the Garment

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Deborah Gorlin

128 pp., 6.5 x 8.5, Paperback


April 2015

Category: Books Tag:

93 in stock


Winner of the 2014 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize

In this collection of vital, elegiac poems, Deborah Gorlin inventories her dead in urgent acts of recognition and commemoration. Family members—both nuclear and extended—appear in their native stories to reanimate local histories, intimate geographies, and lost times. In a different series of personae poems, Gorlin catalogues dolls and totems within their particular cultural habitats, which range from Africa to the Andes, and imagines their daemonic hopes, dreams and emotions. In a final act of inclusion, she takes stock of her own spiritual hesitations, yearnings, and approximations. She reaches out to the dead by trying to imagine the afterworld–the groundless and eternal spirit realm.

Gorlin’s celebration of both the tangible and intangible–objects rich with life and history and the untouchable that lies beyond–and her exploration of such crazy topics as fingernails, Hebraic trees, and fat, inspired Alice Fogel, NH Poet Laureate, to call this collection a sampling of emptiness and fullness from which we can learn how to “occupy the vacancy.”