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Subterranean
Richard Greenfield

Publication date: April 3, 2018



Omnidawn
2018 • 96 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry / Poetry - American / Poetry - Death, Grief, Loss

$17.95 Paperback, 978-1-63243-050-2



Lyrical elegies absorptive of contemporary political economic discourse

The elegies that comprise Richard Greenfield’s third book of poems, Subterranean, open the rhetoric of the form in new ways, creating a site of grieving that transcends a focus on the death of the father. Though lyrical, these elegies juxtapose the collapse of hyper-economies against the collapse of ecosystems, exploring the overlap, or edge effect, of liminal encounters between the living and the dead, between the city and the wilderness, between the human and the animal, and between the haves and the have nots. Greenfield creates a sequence of associative, anxious, rambling, and digressive meditations bridging these harrowing divides and exposing the loneliness of grief and empty promise of connection in the age of late capitalism. Greenfield asks, “Do you want to call someone?” The human voice, transmitted through the cell phone, becomes a spectral voice and streams “up from the basin to the peak and its antenna and striates and sieves through solid structures to arrive in the spiral of the ear of anyone.

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“Subterranean reminds us that elegy does not help us reach a horizon line but, by obsessively mapping the distance to it, increases that unbreachable distance. The grief of Subterranean, then, is that it is ultimately terranean.” —Joyelle McSweeney



Richard Greenfield’s two previous books of poetry are Tracer (Omnidawn, 2009) and A Carnage in the Lovetrees. He is one of the founding editors of Apostrophe Books and is editor-in-chief of Puerto del Sol. He is currently a professor of creative writing at New Mexico State University.



Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:01:16 -0500