An Arrangement of Skin: Essays

An Arrangement of Skin: Essays

by Anna Journey


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"Reading the essays in Anna Journey's elegant, haunting new collection, An Arrangement of Skin, is like cracking open a closet door and peering in to see a tight and private collection of oddities, secrets, and skeletons . . . illuminating even in their darkness." —The Boston Globe

Anna Journey's lyrical and layered arrangement of essays dazzles with her reflections on our shifting selves—the many "skins" we inhabit in a life. An Arrangement of Skin is by turns beguiling, dark, carnal, and deeply personal. Journey revels in the flexibility and hybridity of the essay form, enriching her idiosyncratic anecdotes with literary and cultural meditations and electrifying the work with a poet's keen ear and canny eye.

These essays swerve artfully among topics—a recollection of a personal rupture and ensuing call to a suicide hotline opens into a consideration of taxidermy and lyric time; a mother's penchant for telling macabre stories at the dinner table connects to campfire songs and the cultural importance of American roots music; and a tattoo artist named after a pirate-themed rum reminds us how we inscribe our skins and spirits through the intimate gestures of ink.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640091023
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication date: 08/14/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

ANNA JOURNEY is the author of the poetry collections The Atheist
Wore Goat Silk
, Vulgar Remedies, and If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting, which won the National Poetry Series. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, Yaddo, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Southern California. Find more at

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

An Arrangement of Skin 3

Birds 101 15

The Goliath Jazz 33

Epithalamium with Skunk Pigs 45

The Guineveres 59

Strange Merchants 81

Little Face 93

A Flicker of Animal, a Flank 107

Pangaea for Alice 113

A Common Skin 125

Prologue as Part of the Body 135

Retro Anatomy of a String Bass 157

Modifying the Badger 169

Bluebeard's Closet 181

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