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Loom-2011 Open Book Prize
Sarah Gridley




Omnidawn
2013 • 88 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry - American / Poetry - Women Authors / Poetry - Nature

$17.95 Paperback, 978-1-890650-78-0



“Loom has a magnificent sense of rhythm, one that resonates throughout. Using the Tennyson poem as a stepping-off point, the poems seek out weave... [continued in Reviews below]”—Rob McLennan, Jacket2,

Loom searches for reconstructions of gender, dwelling, and the sacred.

The word loom calls us to the edges, perhaps even limits, of life—to what appears as the space and means of creation—and to what appears on that horizon, soliciting reflection and response. In Sarah Gridley’s third collection of poems, the word serves as emblem and omen, as signal object of meditation. At the loom—and looming—is The Lady of Shalott—poetic specter of Tennyson’s surfaced—and silenced—anima. Trusting in the deep ambiguities of text and textile, spirit and matter, masculine and feminine, Loom calls the Lady back to life, out of isolation, circumscription, and distraction. A book of poems set against the work of disconnection, Loom searches for reconstructions of gender, dwelling, and the sacred.

Reviews / Endorsements

“Loom has a magnificent sense of rhythm, one that resonates throughout. Using the Tennyson poem as a stepping-off point, the poems seek out weave and unfurl, carefully working to explore the smallest moments around and between such a well-known Victorian ballad. As she writes in the first section: “What range of tones are possible / in the phrase See for yourself? // It is hard to explain. / Bloom is a noun and bloom is a verb.” Despite the occasional urgency, there is a meditative stillness that emerges through Gridley’s lines, quietly demanding an increased attention. Even more than usual, the reader is forced to listen.”—Rob McLennan, Jacket2

“….Loom, I believe, is an example of what it might mean to step self-consciously into the world of another poet such that one’s own is startlingly rearranged.”—Martha Ronk, The Constant Critic



SARAH GRIDLEY is the author of two previous books of poetry: Weather Eye Open and Green is the Orator, both from the University of California Press. Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1968, she received a BA in English, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1990. She wrote her senior honors thesis on Dylan Thomas, a poet introduced to her by her father, who grew up outside of Cardiff, Wales. At Harvard, Professors Marjorie Garber and Helen Vendler reinforced her love for poetry and her interest in teaching. After a year working on a vegetable produce farm in Sagaponack, NY, and living and working in Greece, Gridley completed an MAT in English at Tufts University in conjunction with the Shady Hill School Teacher Training Course in Cambridge, MA. She went on to teach high school English at the Hopkins School in New Haven, CT. She then moved to Boston, MA, where she worked as Director of Program and Publicity for The Ford Hall Forum, a public lecture series dedicated to upholding First Amendment rights and encouraging civil debate. in 1998, Gridley pursued an MFA in poetry from the University of Montana, where she studied with poets Patricia Goedicke, Joanna Klink, and Greg Pape. After receiving her degree in 2000, Gridley moved to midcoast Maine, where she lived and worked for six years. In the fall of 2006, she returned to her native city of Cleveland for a visiting lecturer position in the English department at Case Western Reserve University. She is now an assistant professor at Case. In 2009, she received a $20,000 Creative Workforce Fellowship from Cleveland-based CPAC: Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Using the fellowship money to take a partially compensated leave from her teaching duties in the fall of 2010, Gridley returned to Maine for a writing retreat, where she began work on what would eventually be the poetry manuscript, Loom. In the summer of 2011, pursuing a growing fascination with Tennyson and Julia Margaret Cameron, she visited Farringford and Dimbola, their respective neighboring homes on the Isle of Wight, UK.



Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:31:29 -0500