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The 26-Hour Day
Olivia Clare



First Book

New Issues Poetry & Prose
2015 • 67 pp. 6 x 8 1/2"
Poetry

$15.00 Paperback, 978-1-936970-36-0



“The poems in Olivia Clare’s The 26-Hour Day are both temptingly elusive and engagingly allusive. Initially, I absorbed these poems more than understood them... [continued in Reviews below]”—Lynn Domina, Kenyon Review

Reviews / Endorsements

“The poems in Olivia Clare’s The 26-Hour Day are both temptingly elusive and engagingly allusive. Initially, I absorbed these poems more than understood them, entranced by an image or metaphor or sonic effect. Eventually, what I experienced was not understanding but recognition, as I found myself accompanied by a congenial sensibility without quite realizing how.

Syntactically, these poems are direct, their vocabulary deceptively ordinary, with first lines beginning subject-verb-object: “Silence commemorates an exit,” “I’ll speak a dove,” “Little Enoch learned his colors from lettered blocks.” As Coleridge instructs us, however, poetry depends not simply on the best words but also on their best order. Clare’s ability to surprise by juxtaposing her particular subjects, verbs, and objects is what most intriguingly characterizes her style. She is dexterous enough with language to obey all the rules and also make it new.

“Numbers,” for example, exploits the strategies of catalogue and ekphrasis in order to question what we know of art, history, music, and perception. The poem describes museum visits, considering both classic and postmodern art forms, until the speaker “stood in the center beneath / a mosaic of squares painted 88 shades / between white and black.” I did not anticipate this last line, and reading it encouraged me to reconsider my response to the entire poem.

I felt similarly about many of the poems here, regardless of their length or form, and also about the entire book. With each poem,
The 26-Hour Day became clearer and more complex, which means, ultimately, more and more fun to read.”—Lynn Domina, Kenyon Review

“Our rituals are themselves created by the very objects they mimic to control. Thus, the rituals of poetry were rehearsed by language long before the poems began. Olivia Clare knows and celebrates this numinous reversion. In the midst of her vocables, she speaks for meaning where the meanings are. The 26-Hour Day is a compelling debut.”—Donald Revell



OLIVIA CLARE'S poems have appeared in Poetry, Southern Review, Notre Dame Review, London Magazine, and other journals. Short stories have appeared in journals including Southern Review, Yale Review, Kenyon Review Online, and Ecotone. Her awards for poetry include the Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship at Colgate University and the Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. For her fiction, she’s received an O. Henry Award and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award.



Sun, 17 Dec 2017 14:48:01 -0500