Poetry

The Ocean in the Next Room

Poems
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Winner of the Jake Adam York Prize, this collection of poems seeks answers about how to live meaningfully in a world saturated by white noise.
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Winner of the Jake Adam York Prize, this collection of poems seeks answers about how to live meaningfully in a world saturated by late capitalism.

“The question isn’t / what exists,” writes Sarah V. Schweig in her engrossing and prize-winning collection, “The question is what doesn’t / diewith us?” Positioned from within the morass of modern-day living, The Ocean in the Next Room searches for the hard, abiding particles of truth buried beneath our frenzies consumer culture. Stillness. Sunsets. The circadian rhythm of trees. These poems guide us to look past branding, content-creation, and relentless jargon to find meaning in those layers of the world that operate without human intervention or interpretation.

In verse that is at once inventive and innately familiar, Schweig unpacks the urge to make art, life, and connections even at the risk of becoming further entangled in the Anthropocene. Profound and clear-sighted, this collection urges us to lift our gazes from our screens and really look at the world around us. If we measure our attentions and sharpen our intentions, if we “try again to write / the true things,” we might spy something real on the horizon.

ISBN
9781571315632
Publish Date
Pages
96
Dimensions
8.5 × 5.5 × 0.25 in
Weight
7 oz
Author

Sarah V. Schweig

Sarah V. Schweig’s first book, Take Nothing with You, was published by the University of Iowa Press in 2016.

Praise and Prizes

  • “This extraordinary collection of poems does that strange thing Hegel tells us all great art does: in his lectures on aesthetics Hegel tells us that art makes appear the structures that would otherwise remain invisible to us. Through a series of interconnected pieces this collection works through and brings to light the complexities of life lived in the twenty-first century.”

    Cynthia Cruz
    author of Hotel Oblivion