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A Spell of Songs
Peter Jay Shippy




Saturnalia
2013 • 80 pp. 5 1/2 x 7 1/2"
Poetry

$15.00 Paperback, 978-0-9833686-8-7



Peter Jay Shippy’s long anticipated fourth collection is a wickedly playful journey into America’s heart of darkness

Peter Jay Shippy’s A Spell of Songs evokes an enchanted world, one we eventually come to recognize as our own, where the cursed and the charmed unreel before the reader like characters in an unspooling film of the American fairy tale. About his poetry, Bin Ramke writes, “Shippy’s strange little machines of words are all kinetic, disturbing, and weirdly graceful, unlike anything else available in American poetry.” A Spell of Songs continues his celebration of the adventitious in long, loping couplets, an amplitude, an amplifier unrestrained. His is a swirling, spellbinding, and impishly unnerving song.

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Reviews / Endorsements



"One day, not so long ago, Meter Oppenheim walked past Edward Hopper in Paris, and an electric current passed between, and from that current was born Peter Jay Shippy, who, as a child, 'rescued fly mummies from the spider's mandala.' Shippy's narratives are all twists and turns, never going where you might expect, which is their ravishing, dizzying wonder. 'A mouth raises its meat slipper, a pink flag, no surrender.' Reading Shippys A spell of songs is better than channeling Walt Whitman while ingesting psilocybin and purple gumdrops. For one thing, you can't go wrong."—John Yau

"Against incessant pressure from the plethora of fundamentalists and fundamentalisms to confine us all to (and make us all confess just) one world, Peter Jay Shippy's A spell of songs pushes back, by presenting (and inviting us into) many, some familiar, some haunted, some luminous. Who would not join an exodus into such promised lands as these, led by a prophet such as this, found as an infant not among bulrushes but 'in frozen foods, stretched out / in the cephalopod case rowing the air, / praising the canned corn moon'?" —H. L. Hix

From the Book:

Before we boarded the black train father buried
our bobbed tails and showed us how to pull pink skin

over our long ears, the countryside streamed over
our compartment window, green and thick like tongues

swollen with honey, warm beer, clover and thorns,
the taste of summer fevers, winter argue, at dawn



PETER JAY SHIPPY is the author of Thieves Latin, winner of the 2002 Iowa Poetry Prize, Alphaville (BlazeVox, 2006), and How to Build the Ghost in Your Attic (Rose Metal Press, 2007). He has been awarded writing fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2005 he received a Gertrude Stein Award for innovative poetry. He teaches writing at Emerson College.



Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:28:31 -0500