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A Raft of Grief
Chelsea Rathburn




Autumn House
2013 • 88 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry

$17.95 Paperback, 978-1-932870-79-4



“At its core, A Raft of Grief presents a speaker who’s in the process of coping with the failure of her first marriage. Over the... [continued in Reviews below]”—storySouth

Winner of the 2012 Autumn House Press Poetry Contest, selected by Stephen Dunn.

Winner of the 2012 Autumn House Press Poetry Contest, selected by Stephen Dunn, Chelsea Rathburn's second collection continues to amaze with her ability to direct a clear poet's gaze on every aspect of life. Working in both free-verse and form, this book solidfies Rathburn as an essential voice for contemporary poetry.

Reviews / Endorsements

“At its core, A Raft of Grief presents a speaker who’s in the process of coping with the failure of her first marriage. Over the course of the book, she searches for catharsis, pouring over her past before experiencing a revival in finding love anew. Now, before I continue, just because I’ve chosen to use the word “revival” to describe the speaker’s transformation, I’m not trying to imply that the speaker is in some way incomplete on her own. In the context of this book though, it’s important to emphasize that the central speaker’s emotional journey (and subsequently the arc of the collection) is inextricably tied to the themes of companionship and family. Whether one chooses to see these situations as mirrors or amplifiers for the central speaker’s state of mind, she is most clearly represented through her memory and dissection of scenes in which she is rarely alone. Whether with friends or loved ones, these secondary characters provide a context for the poems and a window to the surrounding world.”—storySouth

“In her excellent The Raft of Grief, Chelsea Rathburn probes the varieties and nuances of love and relationships with unsparing lucidity. 'Maybe it s not the eye/but the mind that can take only so much beauty, or solitude, or pleasure,/maybe we travel both to find and forget ourselves,' she says in this book set in places as varied as Paris, Florida, Krakow. I love how she is able to affirm what can happen between two people, while asking if a story-teller sometimes has to 'sacrifice lovers and selves to the narrative arc?' She is willing to, which is one reason why her narratives are so persuasive her allegiance throughout is to the poem as a whole. She will not let her fine moments overwhelm, as lesser poets often do; her limpid, yet complicated phrasing is always part of the poem's fabric.”—Stephen Dunn



CHELSEA RATHBURN is the author of two poetry collections, A Raft of Grief and The Shifting Line. Her poems have been published in The Atlantic, Poetry and New England Review, among other journals, while her prose has been published in Creative Nonfiction and Ploughshares. In 2009, she received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a professor of English and creative writing at Young Harris College, and she lives in Young Harris, GA, with her husband, the poet James Davis May, and their daughter.

Click here for author's website.


Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:44:55 -0500