There is in this book an articulate, on-rushing breathlessness that speaks to and for the self's response to the feast of life. The hazards are many-and they are scrupulously noted. Bohm is, among other things, an itinerant moralist, yet one who again and again returns to the compelling force-sometimes felt with other people and sometimes on her own-of being here on earth in the great, confusing vortex of Now. She conveys that force in a myriad of poetic approaches, many long-lined, all replete with detailed energy that keeps the reader engaged and something like enthralled-this is a life that speaks for many lives.
author of Legends of the Slow Explosion
Devon Bohm's Careful Cartography is both those things, but like all good map makers, the poet is committed not only to the known but the unknown, the places at the edge of the map that resist nomenclature. It's to those tendernesses most prone to grief, longing, and loss that the cartographer-poet turns our attention, acknowledging, as she does, that the real uncharted territory is that which is interior. It's slow work to accept that living is both stone and fruit, but our poet is here to show us just that.
-Carol Ann Davis,
author of The Nail in the Tree
I so admire the zest and precision of Bohm's language and vision-as well as her clear-eyed mistrust of absolutes. While she makes great use of the book's central metaphor, our cartographer host is canny enough to admit early on both that "sometimes maps are not enough" and that "going in circles can still get you there." And while the self she discovers is marked by the people and places she maps and by the act of mapping, Bohm also advises us to: "Sit still / and offer your communion / to disappointment: // open your mouth / like some fat, erotic bird/ and sing." Yes! I was moved and enlivened by this wonderful first collection.
-Ellen Doré Watson, author of pray me stay eager