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at first & then

by Danielle Rose

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Poetry. LGBTQIA Studies. AT FIRST & THEN is radical; beautiful; propulsive. An Orphic tale of a body descending then rising again; the debut chapbook from poet Danielle Rose charts woven stories of addiction; grief; trauma; and; ultimately; gender--the essential pieces of personhood. Through struggle and loss; the poems in AT FIRST & THEN proceed like timid ghosts learning how to form language; gathering the disparate elements of selfhood into a warm coherency; a radical self-permission. Rose writes the language of longing with a fierce acuity; but this is also a collection about fulfillment. "In both there is dancing;" Rose's speaker says of the motion of the tides and of welcoming the divine. These are poems brimming with motion; with hunger; and with aching; full-bodied joy. "This must be how / we can bear to be so empty / so we can be so full." "AT FIRST & THEN is a transition narrative; but not in the ways it is expected to be. Instead; charting a kind of transition along parallel lines of gender; addiction; grief; trauma; and a shifting sexuality. Rose deftly writes through a range of interdisciplinary lenses--cartography; cooking; philosophy; linguistics; anatomy; ornithology; and more--toward a new understanding of a changing self. The end result is a panoramic portrait of the speaker-subject rendered in frantic syntax and with striking lyrical precision. Each poem laced with loss and intimately aware of 'how loss reveals a new language.' Page by page; Rose guides the reader deeper into the uncharted and shadowy corners of this language; but warns us 'that poetry is not light--& that we do not need / another word for empty.'"--torrin a. greathouse "Danielle Rose is a poet who keeps her eye close to the ground in which we are raised--close to the categories which define (and often displace) us. To the extent that the feminine is reclaimed; analogies from nature are used to reveal or subvert finality; as in the migration patterns of mourning doves; the 'toward or away;' the incessant motion. As Rose notes; the tools we have are insufficient--the body map; itself; 'a violence.' I could not put this book away; and I will never forget it."--Alina Stefanescu… (more)
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Poetry. LGBTQIA Studies. AT FIRST & THEN is radical; beautiful; propulsive. An Orphic tale of a body descending then rising again; the debut chapbook from poet Danielle Rose charts woven stories of addiction; grief; trauma; and; ultimately; gender--the essential pieces of personhood. Through struggle and loss; the poems in AT FIRST & THEN proceed like timid ghosts learning how to form language; gathering the disparate elements of selfhood into a warm coherency; a radical self-permission. Rose writes the language of longing with a fierce acuity; but this is also a collection about fulfillment. "In both there is dancing;" Rose's speaker says of the motion of the tides and of welcoming the divine. These are poems brimming with motion; with hunger; and with aching; full-bodied joy. "This must be how / we can bear to be so empty / so we can be so full." "AT FIRST & THEN is a transition narrative; but not in the ways it is expected to be. Instead; charting a kind of transition along parallel lines of gender; addiction; grief; trauma; and a shifting sexuality. Rose deftly writes through a range of interdisciplinary lenses--cartography; cooking; philosophy; linguistics; anatomy; ornithology; and more--toward a new understanding of a changing self. The end result is a panoramic portrait of the speaker-subject rendered in frantic syntax and with striking lyrical precision. Each poem laced with loss and intimately aware of 'how loss reveals a new language.' Page by page; Rose guides the reader deeper into the uncharted and shadowy corners of this language; but warns us 'that poetry is not light--& that we do not need / another word for empty.'"--torrin a. greathouse "Danielle Rose is a poet who keeps her eye close to the ground in which we are raised--close to the categories which define (and often displace) us. To the extent that the feminine is reclaimed; analogies from nature are used to reveal or subvert finality; as in the migration patterns of mourning doves; the 'toward or away;' the incessant motion. As Rose notes; the tools we have are insufficient--the body map; itself; 'a violence.' I could not put this book away; and I will never forget it."--Alina Stefanescu

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