In No One's Land

Paige Ackerson-Kiely, Author . Ahsahta $16 (75p) ISBN 978-0-916272-92-0

The 44 poems that make up Ackerson-Kiely's debut are a pleasure to read and delightfully free from the conceptual projects, gimmickry and silly minutiae of many first books. Ackerson-Kiely tackles familiar subjects—love, work, landscape—in fresh and deeply affecting ways. In "No, I've Had Enough," she writes, "The world/ is limp and furthermore dead and I am so hungry I will not eat a/ single thing as you are everything to me, you are at this instant/ every single thing." This prize-winning book, chosen by D.A. Powell, can be strikingly raw, especially in regard to workaday topics; Ackerson-Kiely expertly navigates a world of low-level office work, one-night stands and Wal-Mart ("the biggest place I have been to date"), illuminating life's unexpected turns and beauty, yet never shying away from its loneliness and despair. In "Nocturne IV," Ackerson-Kiely displays her talent for splendid, unpredictable last lines: "You weren't anywhere I was planning to go," she concludes, "The path from the porch to the car/ for example, feeling my way along." Compelling and inventive, this is a welcome new voice. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 01/22/2007
Release date: 01/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
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