Dear Apocalypse

Overview

K. A. Hays’ debut collection opens with an invitation to the apocalypse, an act of American bravado that soon gives way to fear of disaster, dread of violence, and grief for the dead. As the book’s “lilies and fowls”—seedlings and swifts, thrushes and pitch pines—feed and grow, they become figures for human struggle. The speaker of these poems longs for God, for a mind that outlasts the body, and for a way to live with acceptance in a world that is chaotic and uncertain. Dear Apocalypse, the reader finds in the ...

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Overview

K. A. Hays’ debut collection opens with an invitation to the apocalypse, an act of American bravado that soon gives way to fear of disaster, dread of violence, and grief for the dead. As the book’s “lilies and fowls”—seedlings and swifts, thrushes and pitch pines—feed and grow, they become figures for human struggle. The speaker of these poems longs for God, for a mind that outlasts the body, and for a way to live with acceptance in a world that is chaotic and uncertain. Dear Apocalypse, the reader finds in the closing sections, does not dare the world to end so much as it asks it to stay, and comes “to love / this waking life,” even with its terrors, even in the dark.

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What People Are Saying

Carol Frost
"The darker perceptions and unheard of phrases in Dear Apocalypse bring us a strange solace—strange and familiar as the elemental world. If earth’s evidence breaks the heart—soil’s toxicity, soul’s hat crowning a parking meter, airs fickle—we might still 'come to love / this waking life'—coltsfoot, deer piss, phoebes, and the 'glimpses / of the things we might, with work, become.' The poems are beautifully crafted, the truths contingent, hard-won—for that all the purer. A miraculous book."
Speer Morgan
"K. A. Hays’s poems show a fascination with the dark processes at work even in seemingly pleasant patches of American landscape. Like Melville, she finds a spiritual power in the violence of nature."
Katie Ford
"Exquisite, masterful poems filled with the last beauties and new horrors of a dying earth . . . Hays is a poet we cannot do without."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887484957
  • Publisher: Carnegie-Mellon University Press
  • Publication date: 2/2/2009
  • Series: Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 88
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

K. A. HAYS is a native of southeast Pennsylvania. She read English Literature at Bucknell and Oxford Universities and earned an MFA in the Literary Arts at Brown. Her poetry has appeared in such magazines as Antioch Review, New Orleans Review, Northern Woodlands, and Southern Review, and was selected by Natasha Tretheway for inclusion in Best New Poets 2007. She is also a fiction writer and verse translator whose work in those genres has appeared in Gulf Coast, Cimarron Review, Hudson Review, and other magazines. She lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where she holds the Emerging Writer Fellowship at Bucknell.

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Table of Contents

Dear Apocalypse

LETTERS
Letter from the End of the World
Meanwhile
Letter from the Afternoon
In the Garden
Pastoral
Serotinous
The Ice Festival

LABORS
The Way of All the Earth
That Death
The Snow Queen Speaks of April
After Loss
The Churchbells in Male Are Ringing, Possibly Ushering Out
Hyacinths
Darkling
Exodus
The Labor of Waking

MIND
But Then Again It Might Be Possible
I don't Believe the View from Here
It Is Easy Not to See the Mad
Imagine How Easy It Must Be for Weather
The Sea Clots Whitely after the Swell, Claws Sand
I Made My Soul a Hat
Genesis
Expulsion
That Bellies and Drags
This Morning after Snow, the Body Scrapes Off

FOWLS AND LILIES
Outside the Basilica di San Petronio
Some Pigeons Amble by the Tracks
Letter from Cinque Terre
Theology
Sacrament
So the Moths Come Slaloming out of Hollow Trees
Second Coming
Migration
This Must Be How the Monks Felt on Their Way
I'd Say God
Conversion
Here
Arrival
Leap
Not Like Ghosts but Like the White Robes Worn

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