cover image Frail-Craft


Jessica Fisher, . . Yale, $16 (68pp) ISBN 978-0-300-11032-6

Every April, poetry publishers flood the market with new books. Here are a few of PW 's favorites from this year's crop.

Frail-Craft Jessica Fisher . Yale , $16 (90p) paper ISBN 978-0-300-12235-0 ; $26 cloth ISBN 978-0-300-11032-6

Louise Glück's fourth pick as judge of the prestigious Yale Series of Younger poets prize is a debut filled with dark, ethereal verses and prose poems. Fisher is interested in language's tragic slipperiness and its capacity to make the familiar alien: "despite the eye's illusion, parallel lines do not converge: so it was that we walked the canal in tandem, you on the north side, I on the south." These poems often long for, but cannot make, connections; they employ varied forms, including dreamlike fables ("Now—the parade. Lions, red, black & yellow. They never go anywhere without a drummer"); graceful lyrics, such as the title poem ("men still drown/ in order to know the difference between sky/ and whatever name you give the deep"); and aphorisms ("he was both the egg/ and the one who cracked it—"). By the end, Fisher's unflinchingly intense voice does begin to drone, but she brings to her poems a satisfying and often very powerful seriousness of purpose. (Apr.)