Winner of the 1998 New Issues Poetry Prize
The poet’s sense of wonder is contagious whether she views the world from her seat on a train, from the window of her apartment, or from the streets of the city. Through a subtle, mediated surrealism, Mörling reins in the urban landscapes of New York, drawing the reader into her meditations on the temporal and the spatial, on language itself.
“Like a modern-day Whitman the poet loiters at her ease, in her case, among the crowds of Grand Central Station ‘a little ecstatic/from looking up at the constellations / in the green and gold ceiling.’ Listening ‘to the skinny violinist play Paganini’ she stands still, letting the music touch her and feels ‘the whole station inside’ her awareness. Thus it is also a book of enormous calm; indeed, I cannot think of another collection of contemporary poetry more conscious of our need for the violence of continual change and more at peace in the center of that violence. . .This is poetry whose aim is no less than to recall us to what Wallace Stevens regarded as the greatest gift of creation: to live in a physical universe.”
“Malena Mörling’s poems lend new perspectives about what it is to see and hear and wonder, about what it is to be alive.”
“Mörling is deeply aware of the moment of ‘passing through’ and it informs her poetry.Ocean Avenue is subtle, lovely, and original.”
Malena Mörling was born in Stockholm in 1965, and grew up in southern Sweden. She has graduate degrees from New York University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her translations of the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer appeared in his book, For the Living and the Dead, published in 1995 by Ecco Press. She is also the author ofAstoria (Pitt Poetry Series). Her poems have been published inPloughshares, Boulevard, Third Coast, Marlboro Review, New England Review, Mudfish, andCountermeasures. In 2007 she was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and in 2007-08 she was a Research Associate at the School For Advanced Research, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Creative Writing at The University of North Carolina, Wilmington and Core Faculty in The Low Residency MFA program at New England College. www.malenamorling.com