Quoted from The Word Works' April 21, 2015 Newsletter:
Lisa Sewell's Impossible Object
is real - and wonderful !
Winner of the First Annual Tenth Gate Prize
Impossible Object, Sewell's third full-length collection, shows what it means to be in constant, alert connection to the world and its voices.
Each poem is deeply rooted in a specific work of literature as well as an event in the poet's life, earning this praise from Linda Gregerson:
"Lisa Sewell has invented a new poetic genre. I'd call the mode ekphrastic, but ekphrasis doesn't quite capture it. She eats, sleeps, and breathes books. Books are her lime flower tea - she recovers the past in books. Books are her avenue to political witness - they afford a foundational grammar for feeling and moral awareness. Books are her oxygen and elementary language."Arthur Sze adds,
"In these sharp, arresting poems, Lisa Sewell writes out of a place and time 'when there is never a where or right place.' As the worlds of literature and life reflect, refract and conflate, she creates a space that is spellbindingly present."
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Impossible Object is Sewell's third full-length poetry collection, following the chapbook Long Corridor (Seven Kitchens Press, winner of the 2008 Keystone Chapbook Prize), and the collections Name Withheld (Four Way Books, 2006) and The Way Out (Alice James Books, 1998).
Sewell is also co-editor, with Claudia Rankine, of two essay collections that focus on 21st Century North American poets. Her poems have appeared in journals such asColorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Ploughshares, Paris Review and Harvard Review. She has been awarded a Leeway Foundation Grant and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Sewell teaches in the English Department and is the co-director of the Gender and Women's Studies Program at Villanova University.
Bruce Smith describes this book beautifully:
"To speak of reading is to speak of love: it is the act when Eros enters into you and you either find or lose yourself. In this brilliant book, Lisa Sewell speaks of encounters with books that 'translate us back' to our inherited world or translate us ahead into another world which is as disturbing as it is comforting, full of outrage and tenderness. The territory she describes is 'between a bleed and a blundering of borders.' It is a place in between civilization and its discontents with its indistinguishable wishes and fears and the primary pleasure of being seized by the imagined. It's a book of wonder and great extension of sympathy."