Nightboat Books, 2016
An urgent and scintillating second collection by poet and activist Juliet Patterson
Part lamentation, part ode, Threnody (the word originates from the Greek, threnos, “wailing” and oide “ode.”), examines the beauty and violence of our present ecological moment with a lyric and meditative eye. Concerned with the precise relationship of components in the world these poems exist in the overlap between imagination and fact, truth and history, territory and map, the living and the dead.
In Juliet Patterson’s sure-footed aesthetic the intellectual, physical and spiritual are woven together—the result is a world saturated by the human mind, and a mind saturated by the world. These poems are driven by a passionate grief for how we have treated this world as a dispensable other when even the reverie of prairie depends on a real bee of the kind “whose life/ burst furious through fields” or “the shimmering plain/half in, half out of time,” “the world’s time/becoming completely destitute/time, but also perhaps not, not yet, /not even yet.” – Jane Mead
Juliet Patterson's The Truant Lover was winner of the first Nightboat Books Prize. Her most recent collection of poems, Threnody, is just out from Nightboat Books. Her poems and essays have appeared widely in numerous magazines. Her recent awards include the Arts & Letters Susan Atefat Prize in Non-fiction, the Lynda Hull Memorial Poetry Prize, and a Jerome Foundation fellowship. Two long sequences—one poetry and one prose—are available as chapbooks, Epilogue (Spout Press) and Dirge (Albion Books). Her most recent writing project, a memoir in progress, entitled Sinkhole, has been supported through a Minnesota State Arts Board grant and a Minnesota Emerging Writers grant. She lives in Minneapolis on the west bank of the Mississippi near the Great River Road.