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Synopsis

“[Twichell’s] poems generate the requisite heat with the poet’s precise, original and frequently brilliant use of language. . . . A major voice in contemporary poetry.” —Publishers Weekly

“[Twichell’s poems] track the inner movements of one life with an unexpected freshness.” —The Washington Post

Publishers Weekly called Chase Twichell “a major voice in contemporary poetry,” and this long overdue retrospective supports the claim. Selected from six award-winning books, this volume collects the best of Twichell’s meditative and startling poems. A longtime student of Zen Buddhism, Twichell probes how the self changes over time and how the perception of self affects the history and meaning of our lives. Her poems exhibit a deep and urgent love of the natural world amidst ecological decimation, while also delving into childhood memories and the surprise and nourishment that come from radical shifts in perception.

What etiquette holds us back
from more intimate speech,
especially now, at the end of the world?
Can’t we begin a conversation
here in the vestibule,
then gradually move it inside?
What holds us back
from saying things outright?

Chase Twichell is the author of six books of poetry and the best-selling writer’s manual Practice of Poetry. She is the founding editor of Ausable Press and lives in rural New York with her husband, the novelist Russell Banks.

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