Little Envelope of Earth Conditions

Cori Winrock. Alice James, $15.95 trade paper (100p) ISBN 978-1-948579-06-3
The highly original second book from Winrock (This Coalition of Bones) erupts with sound and imagery that gives shape, color, and texture to grief. The book’s title draws from historian Douglas Lantry’s explanation that “a real space suit is a little envelope of earth conditions.” Broken into six parts, Winrock explores the knowledge gained through pain. There is the ambulance, “O little empire of emergency, O altar of resuscitation,” that brays throughout as grief embodied, and then there are the space suits—how to sew them, get into them, and get out of them. This motif reemerges until Winrock admits, “I can no longer tell the difference between Uhaul & ambulance, beekeeper & astronaut.” Bees and honey buzz around the spacesuits, and the stitches in the suits appear visually in the work as little plus signs that break up sections and punctuate some of her poems: “the sound of a heavy dress +/ dragging + particular + so particular + we are continuous + & appearing + not at all/ like a mirror + see-through & astoundingly + not at all.” This heartbreaking, unusual, and precise collection treats grief with all the complexity it deserves. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/14/2019
Release date: 01/14/2020
Genre: Poetry
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