"How does a poet memorialize her beloved without erasing his complexity? Sharma writes candidly of the elegized’s personality — 'your death was as sudden as your rage' — and of her unanswered anxieties: 'Did he tell the doctor he didn't love me anymore and that's why I wasn't allowed into those conversations?' In doing so, Sharma complicates her narrative away from sentimentality and into reality-fracturing emotionality."—The New York Times
With staggering emotional honesty, Prageeta Sharma confronts the sudden loss of her spouse to cancer. Offering a series of poems rooted in the profoundly narrative yet disorienting experience of losing a loved one, she summons all of her resources in order to attempt any semblance, poetic or otherwise, of clear sense in trauma.
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"This book doesn’t force lessons on its reader, and I’m glad for it. I do believe Sharma gained perspective from the passage of time, but the reader doesn’t have relate to it as a sort of universal experience. This is a book of personal grief, and an account of an individual mourning a specific, sudden, sad loss—a cruel and random one from which she shouldn’t be expected to glean a lesson"
Niina Pollari, Fence Digital
"How does a poet memorialize her beloved without erasing his complexity? Sharma writes candidly of the elegized’s personality — “your death was as sudden as your rage” — and of her unanswered anxieties: “Did he tell the doctor he didn’t love me anymore and that’s why I wasn’t allowed into those conversations?” In doing so, Sharma complicates her narrative away from sentimentality and into reality-fracturing emotionality.
Emilia Phillips, The New York Times
There is so much generosity and bravery within each utterance, offering an intimate view of the life adrift.
Prageeta Sharma is the author of the poetry collections Grief Sequence (Wave Books, 2019), Undergloom (Fence Books, 2013), Infamous Landscapes (Fence Books, 2007), The Opening Question (Fence Books, 2004), which won the 2004 Fence Modern Poets Prize, and Bliss to Fill (Subpress, 2000). She is the founder of the conference Thinking Its Presence: Race, Creative Writing, Literary Studies and Art. A recipient of the 2010 Howard Foundation Award, she has taught at the University of Montana and now teaches at Pomona College.
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
ISBN# 9781940696881 (5.5x8 104pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781940696898 (5.5X8 104pp, limited edition hardcover)
ISBN# 9781950268221 (e-book*)