Poetry by Alison Prine
Winner of the 2014 Cider Press Review Book Award.
Advance praise for Steel:
“‘I like to be at the edge of open waters,’ Alison Prine writes in ‘City of Bridges,’ and Prine’s poems share her affinity for the liminal, the weather-swept, and the vast. Even as she studies the significance of our smallest gestures toward and away from one another, Prine’s scope is the wide sweep of a life, and its defining griefs and desires. Prine’s vision is tender and precise, and her voice is no less fierce for its quality of quiet. These are intimate, necessary poems in which language is the vital blood that circulates through our most important questions.”
—Karin Gottshall, author of The River Won’t Hold You
“In Alison Prine’s elemental, lapidary poems, place is transposed, and time moves recursively. The past infuses the present with such unrelenting clarity that the result is a startling and richly potent consolation.”
—Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home
“Steel is a work of memory and reverie. Both precise and transcendent, Alison Prine’s poems take us on journeys recollected and imaginary and full-throttle into unfamiliar terrain. Her language is musical and her eye is sharp. This is a memorable, remarkable book.”
—Laura Kasischke, author of Space, in Chains
See “I would like to speak to the man in charge” for an example:
I would like to speak to the man in charge
The racket is like a drawer of silver
clattering to the floor.
This morning outside my kitchen window
a sharp-shinned hawk
tore apart a yellow bird
in the apple tree.
What do you propose we do when our questions
Every day, I forgive you these messes.
Goodness is not a false positive. The bloodline
is not a false positive—nor are the ghosts
who raised me.
Go ahead and wield your mighty blankness,
I too can sing into my pillow,
Thanks to Prairie Schooner, in which journal this poem originally appeared.