The Spaces Between Birds

Sandra McPherson, Author Wesleyan University Press $25 (75p) ISBN 978-0-8195-2227-6
In her 16th and 17th published poetry collections, McPherson calls for a more expansive poetry aesthetic, persuasively demonstrated in her own generous, affecting and highly accomplished work. What these two volumes have in common is an exploration of the ways in which non-normative modes of cognition and sensory experience can be poetic. Edge Effect finds model and inspiration in the creativity of mentally ill, marginalized and self-taught artists, such as the quilter of ""Affirmation Against Critics"" who ""authored the a-universal/ from actual shreds of her life."" Achieving musicality with packed, resonant language, Edge Effect also showcases McPherson's mastery of precisely observed nature poetry. Deepening her vision with difficult experience, The Spaces Between Birds is a tender and profound chronicle of raising an autistic child. In ""Some Schizophrenics,"" the poet writes of ""watching/ black motion playing/ where the whole bird should be."" Interspersing her autistic grown daughter's words, McPherson inscribes their imagistic construction as poetry. With an elegant directness reminiscent of Anne Sexton's, Spaces is a flock of hard truths, joyfully told. McPherson is a distinctive stylist and a compassionate voice whose work continues to enrich and reward readers. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 75 pages - 978-0-8195-2228-3
Open Ebook - 75 pages - 978-0-8195-7251-6
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