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$16.00 paper | 74 pages
ISBN: 978-1936970704
Publication Date: October 2021
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2020 New Issues Poetry Prize
Traci Brimhall, Judge

“This gorgeous debut felt like it came to me from another time and held me spellbound. I’m awed at Knippen’s skillful tensions, crafting rhetorical movements that seem at once bold and simple. Deeply imagistic, these poems manage to simultaneously be rooted and sensory, as well as elusive and incantatory. Knippen deftly weaves ghosts and lilies, wrens and windows, nouns serving like legends on a grief map. Knippen’s language draws us closer to an unnamed loss until we feel the heat of the wound, but not the death itself. But more than the ghost, the wonder. More than the longing, the lyrical leap into what we don’t know is coming but trust will be beautiful.”
 
— Traci Brimhall

 

“From its first poem, this marvelous first book makes way for Knippen’s affinity for likeness, not as simple mirroring but likeness in total, compelled to include dissimilarity, and this habit of mind results in image-dependent poems that gather, layer, re-gather in a precarious and lavish state of being between. Knippen’s poems can bear the weight of their layered, sensory-driven realities because he’s clearly devoted to language as the most supple and true means of navigation. Rare for poets of his generation, he gives voice to being drawn toward as often as he surrenders to his will to say. Encountering these poems is exciting; the world and our thinking about it both enlarge.” –
 
– Kathleen Peirce
 
“Since I first read James Henry Knippen’s work, I’ve been trying to put a finger on exactly what it’s doing—because what it’s doing is the essence of poetry—which is, perhaps, by nature, impossible to state. But it makes you want to try. It’s his flair for lyric architectures and nonce forms; it’s his way of startling us into recognizing things we never knew we knew, his way of sparking words off of each other, illuminating obscure networks, but also creating new ones that bring together the most disparate regimes—the intimate, the astronomical, the mineral, the mundane. Reading his work fills me with joy and with an unexpected, but oh-so-welcome, sense of promise.”

 

–Cole Swensen

James_Henry_Knippen_Author_Photo_b_w_300_dpiJames Henry Knippen’s poetry has appeared in 32 Poems, AGNI, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Kenyon Review, and West Branch, among other journals. He is the poetry editor of Newfound.