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Peace
Gillian Conoley




Omnidawn
2014 • 112 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry / Poetry - American / Poetry - Women Authors

$17.95 Paperback, 978-1-890650-95-7



“Conoley’s acute historical awareness leads to a disconnection of self: “[O]bsolete/ hands reaching but not reached/ and pushing glass away// more room now.” Yet... [continued in Reviews below]”—Publishers Weekly

By one of America’s most adventurous poets––Peace moves just beyond outrage and anger to bring the reader to revelations and shifts of consciousness, to possible visions and sightings in the shattered yards of the global dream

Peace is haunted by personal and political history—by figures of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Thoreau–by current senators and dead musicians, by speech and painting, by extraordinary and ordinary lives. Written as though at the threshold of a continual co-presence and comingling of peace and war, Peace moves just beyond outrage and anger to bring the reader to revelations and shifts of consciousness, to possible visions and sightings in the shattered yards of the global dream.

Reviews / Endorsements

“Conoley’s acute historical awareness leads to a disconnection of self: “[O]bsolete/ hands reaching but not reached/ and pushing glass away// more room now.” Yet her deep, human concerns highlight an ethics and perspective that is both constantly articulated and continually questioned, reviewed, and revised: “What are we to the man/ who attacked the gunman/ as he started to reload, a constituency?” This articulation takes intelligence and humor—“I didn’t want my eyes to be/ my reality negator”—and what’s more is that Conoley’s politicized language never buries the personal, nor her personality: “[A]t my father’s funeral, a blind field/ the flag taken from over the casket/ folded into a triangle, handed to us/ throughout ‘the reception’/ a boy eyes a pizza slice/ on a white paper plate.”—Publishers Weekly

“Drawing on a range of registers—the geographic and technologic, emotional and workaday—Conoley explores several categories of peace, broadly construed: the peace of armistice, of reflection, of liberation, of death. In her sparse, inventive lyric mode, Conoley weaves personal and political threads into an incantatory not-quite-narrative whose power lies in the gravid spaces between juxtaposed images and thoughts. It is in the emergent rhythms of “each euphoriant ephemery” that Peace finds its logic—and, perhaps, its peace.”—Maggie Millner, ZYZZYVA

“White space percolates this lyric, while the current lull in American military actions forms the occasion of this book, Gillian Conoley’s seventh poetry collection. With poems titled “late democracy,” “[Peace] contrary to history,” and “Trying to Write a Poem about Gandhi,” the work pulls one way and then pushes back another, testing the inner ground for breath.”—A. Anupama, Numéro Cinq

"As a whole, Gillian Conoley’s Peace is a compassionate and coherent plea for contemporary humanity to accept the principles of love and non-violence which guided Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Embracing an unsparing postmodern sensibility, she wages her argument for “peace” in poems that are innovative and effective. These poems ably demonstrate that the moral responsibility of the avant-garde is not only to heighten and rework our aesthetic perceptions but also to act as defender of what is most noble about the human race. Reading these poems is a life-altering experience. "—Sonja James, The Journal

“Gillian Conoley’s poetry collection, Peace, takes readers on a personal and political exploration of love and loss, violence and death, memory and forgiveness, and war and peace. Like current politics in America (only much more thought-out and illuminating) noisy words are everywhere in this collection: scattered across the page, strewn about in organized chaos, arranged in unpunctuated (or non-traditionally punctuated) columns, and making you think differently about the way words are used.”E. Ce Miller, Bustle

"Masterfully composed.”—Alice Notley, Culture of One

“Gillian Conoley’s Peace encompasses the wholeness of a world vision.”—Yusef Komunyakaa, The Chameleon Couch

“Peace keeps poetry’s deepest possibilities alive. . .attentive, interrogative, visionary, humane.”—Lisa Fishman, Flower Cart

"I would highly recommend reading Gillian Conoley’s book, especially if you’re concerned with the irreconcilable elements of the status quo, with the larger more universal concerns about family and the self, and with the instabilities with which we are faced in the world as it stands. Conoley’s book has the transcendent qualities that future generations will be reading and considering, even after this generation has “[swept] the earth in [its] cemetery slippers.” A must read, for this world, and beyond."—Emily Vogel

"There’s a dialectic driving Gillian Conoley’s seventh collection forward: the persistence of peace, clarity, and calm in a troubled postmodern America where “television killed radio, and internet replaced television, and video games / killed us all.” Accordingly, much of Conoley’s text has a fractured feeling to it, composed of fragments that spill across the page, making great use of white space and, more sparing use of, punctuation. The poems are peppered with the vernacular of the digital world and eschew explicit narrative. Conoley’s work has a vision larger than the personal, and there’s the promise that mindfulness might counter the feeling of collapse in any given moment."—American Poets



GILLIAN CONOLEY, born in Austin, Texas, is author of seven collections, including TALL STRANGER, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She’s received Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from APR, an NEA, and Fund for Poetry Award. Her poems have been anthologized widely, including Norton’s Postmodern American Poetry, Norton’s American Hybrid, Best American Poetry. Her translations of Henri Michaux will appear in City Lights Pocket Poets. Editor/founder of VOLT, she is Professor & Poet-in-Residence at Sonoma State and lives in SF Bay Area.



Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:30:03 -0500