With intelligence and crystalline clarity, a chorus of female voices speaks through the poems in Her book, Éireann Lorsung’s luminous second collection.
Full of youth, wonder, and imagination, Her book crosses distances and generations to celebrate the lives of women, their individual and shared experiences, and the bonds that bring them together. This is also a book about translation (of experience into art, of knowledge across time and space), conversation (with, for instance, work by the artist Kiki Smith), and friendship (especially those made during Lorsung’s time in England). In these poems, the female body rises from a foundation of stars. Songbirds are cut from paper and stormy light. And letters arrive, and disappear, mysteries contained within.
“Part ecstatic recollection of the many ways places and objects leave their indelible marks upon our bodies and brains, and part timeless ode to the strange female beast that pounds inside of us all” (Ada Limón), Her book is both an inspired work from Lorsung and, fundamentally, her book—poems belonging to all women.
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Praise and Prizes
“Part ecstatic recollection of the many ways places and objects leave their indelible marks upon our bodies and brains, and part timeless ode to the strange female beast that pounds inside of us all, Her book resurrects the enchanting power of personal and historically feminine mythology. Exacting, and at the same time utterly magical, Éireann Lorsung’s work opens a door to an unusually radiant universe where everything within is set ablaze by pure wonderment.”
“In Her book, Éireann Lorsung inhabits the uncertain and fluid boundaries between the body and the world, the self and the other. For the reader, these poems offer a materiality of their own: the body’s ‘speech packs around it like wasp / paper. Speaking a thin, permanent / archive.’ The poems in this volume breach the ordinary parameters of space, time, and sense perception. To experience them is to occupy the space between in a surprising and yet subtle way.”
“Her book has something of the gurlesque to it: ‘The most gentle apocalypse in the world.’ But this will lead the reader, with remarkable sureness, not toward the viscera of the gender spectacle revealed via exaggeration, but rather into the miniature, the closely observed, the travesties and utopias of the quietest moments. It is from these moments that the whole is constructed, the molecules that compose both her book and her life. It is an aching and eloquent whole indeed.”
“These poems believe in the miraculous—part primordial, part philosophical, part whimsical. Éireann Lorsung goes places other poets just hope to inhabit—breaking form—creating new.”