ABOUT THE BOOK
Threaded with epistolary poems to Gravity—envisioned as a capricious god as the author's father began to fall frequently at the outset of a progressive illness—Aronson's latest poems contemplate and address what anchors us, literally and figuratively. These poems excavate grief during the process of losing parents, one to physical illness and the other to dementia. But even in the midst of grief, Aronson never loses sight of the larger world, ever present in all its danger and beauty.
"Anchor is an apt title for this collection, as it connects to gravity and embodiment—we are tightly held to the earth, to our bodies, realities that are both comforting and disquieting. […] Where there is grief, there is family connection, love, and care. Where there is fear and anxiety about the state of our world, there is compassion for the earth and for others. Aronson gently reminds us that our humanity is what anchors us but also what allows us to float 'loose from the weight and heartfeel / of our earthbound and bleeding forms.'"
"Rebecca Aronson’s incredible new collection is full of verve and a syntax of ecstatic vocabulary. Whether it's through abecedarians or epistles to gravity, Aronson’s poems carry the weight of a life, its pressures, its miraculous brevity. Anchor is a balm against grief. These poems face off against loss with 'Technicolor blooming and bird riot,' and every line hums with urgency."
"We know from Newton, who named it, that gravity is the force of attraction drawing bodies together. Etymologically, it shares itself with gravid and grave—beginning and end. In Anchor, Aronson has given us both the metaphor and the ballast: the harbor from which we venture into our lives on Earth, and the commonality of death that returns us to the earth. With a languid, meditative syntax reminiscent of Virginia Woolf—and an eye for detail equally sensuous and lethal—Aronson has achieved an intimate and artful collection about loss and the inevitable cycles of ebb and flow experienced by every life."
"In her splendid third collection of poems, Rebecca Aronson writes of the degeneration and death of her parents. The darknesses of the subjects, however, are magicked into beautiful balance in a stunning juggling act which holds opposite forces spinning and gleaming in the empty air—gravity and flight, body and spirit, absence and presence, love and grief. Aronson devises exquisite metaphors on every page to illustrate the tensions it is our human lot to suffer. Gravity itself is a wonderfully personified character in these pages—it loves the dying father, is jealous of other forces that vie for his body, is a class bully here, an ally of the moon there. The poems here are graceful, wildly gorgeous, enriched by Aronson’s vivid animation of earthly and heavenly forces—wind, sand, fire, air, sky, stars. The relative slimness of this volume belies the genuine gravity of the enormous beauties, wonders, and surprises within it."
Explosive, turbulent, haunting, magnetic, Rebecca Aronson’s Ghost Child of the Atalanta Bloom begins with a girl who sets a field on fire, an apt metaphor for poems that are themselves fiery. Mortality and death undergird Aronson’s fantastical visions, where a child becomes a seagull, a woman turns tarantula, and a house threatens to fill with blood. Fierce vulnerability and brutality excite the perceptions of the ill and the grief-stricken, the child and the new mother who claims: ‘With teeth I guard the home, and with breathing.’ Details are vaulted to life, wild with electricity–from a canoe to a pearl to a bobbin, ‘even the grass / could be an engine of desire.’ An acute and visceral brightness–an aliveness–reaches under the eyelids, floating the reader across startling landscapes and dreamscapes, from Pompeii to Jersey City. I could stare all day at the riot of gasping colors, enthralled by Aronson’s poems and her "Ravenous god of little things."
-Hadara Bar-Nadav, judge of the 2016 Orison Poetry Prize
”The poems in Rebecca Aronson’s collection achieve a longed-for but near-impossible mark–they change the very shape and length of the momentary to make time last longer. How does the present, each held breath, bloom and stretch and become an ever-ness, a sustained cherishing? This poet infuses more life into a line than almost any of her peers. This book belongs in a canon with the works of Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Naomi Shihab Nye, James Richardson, and Rita Dove–we have always needed new paths into that deep, attentive, porous and mindful way of being that only poetry can offer. Aronson’s is a new route into our oldest and most familiar paradoxes and mysteries, those of love, beauty, connection, (im)materiality and consciousness. Nobody but Rebecca Aronson turns a reality inside out just by the way she looks at it, the way she listens, to reveal ever deeper colors and music than we could have suspected were all around us, and in us.”
About Rebecca Aronson's debut collection of poetry, Linda Bierds writes, "Who are the creatures echoing forth from this book's title? The square-bodied spider, black against glass? The clicking crickets and their human counterparts, kicking free of a warm night's blanket? The hollow-horned sea goats of the imagination? Yes. And more. And more. 'Every body is a den of dens,' Aronson writes. 'Each thin wall contains its own warren..' And so, in this remarkable debut collection, 'we cluster and recur.an echo's echo.' But it is the eye, finally, that, open or shut, navigates these chambers of self and other-and Aronson's is superb." Selected by acclaimed author Claire Davis as the first recipient of the Main-Traveled Roads Poetry prize, Aronson's book is remarkable and promising of a bright poetic career.