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Tulips, Water, Ash
Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize

Northeastern University Press
2009 • 88 pp. 6 X 8 1/4"

$16.95 Paperback, 978-1-55553-708-1

“Stonestreet mixes the playful and the profound here, and the result well represents its place in a venerable series.”New Letters

Winner of the 2009 Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize

Tulips, Water, Ash begins with a kind of invocation—a calling-out from the domestic world, “the soft / chewy center of here: the mailbox, / the toaster, the dentist office . . . Whiteboard,whiteout. Little yellow / notes everywhere like moths.” So many of these poems—their bus stops and taquerias, sidewalks and bathroom mirrors—give us the ordinary, the daily, but with all the lights turned on: surfaces made near-transparent by a consciousness whose shifts and asides are a pleasure to inhabit. Others dive into the mystery just underneath, colliding junior high school with theoretical cosmology, suburbia with multiple universes. There is a fascination, too, with the life of language, the names of things in these poems often as much a mystery as their simple presence. This is daily life with its underlying passions and strangeness exposed—the point at which each of us, like the speaker, “slip[s] back down / through a hole in the net.”

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“Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet’s poems move with a wonderfully alive, actively thinking attentiveness. Her language is eager and inquisitive, darting this way and that toward meaning, opening our eyes and ears, our minds, to continual change—personal, communal and cosmic. Keenly aware of the potential “heat in the flint, light in the twig,” she shows us how to see the very flux of life.”—Reginald Gibbons, author of Creatures of a Day

“The rich light in this book—literally of street fairs, “sun through the windshield”—might half-blind us if this poet weren’t looking with such close and dark attention. Again and again, memory swims up from childhood, and love disturbs and soothes, particularly married love, a constancy. Still, all shimmers here, is restless in Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet’s poems. “… left, right, strange. Everything leaning into a spin,” she tells us, and shows us.”—Marianne Boruch


Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize 2009

LISA GLUSKIN STONESTREET has been awarded a Javits fellowship and a Phelan Award, and her poems have appeared in journals such as Blackbird, The Iowa Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son. JEAN VALENTINE is the author of ten books of poetry, including Door in the Mountain, winner of the 2004 National Book Award.

Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:58:38 -0500