by Joan Houlihan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945588082
Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication date: 03/06/2018
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 1,321,220
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

The award-winning author of five books of poetry, JOAN HOULIHAN received her BA and MAT in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and serves on the faculty of Lesley University’s Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is Professor of Practice in Poetry at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Houlihan founded and directs the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference. She lives outside of Boston.

Table of Contents


Slept Out 3

Hands Trace Air 4

On the Other Side 5

Sewn into Shadow 6

Then Mortar 7

He is Walking 8

As Home Grips 9

Awoke Out 10

By Eye-Slit 11

Come to the Wait 12

As in a Sack 13

What Does Your Seeing want? 14

Stick Figure 15

The Room 16

The Work of You 17

Too Small 18

Still Heard 20

Breath he Wore 21

A Still-Living Head 22

Don't Ask How Long 23

December Kissed 25

In the Snow Of 26


Awoke Dark 29

Is Anyone Hurting You? 30

Would Be My Arms 31

You Were Right 32

A Late Wash 33

Voices, Lately 34

Cover the Soft 35

Unmoored, and Ever 36

When the Cough 37

Smell the Wide Smell 38

I Won't Quit 39


Breath they Couldn't 43

And Alive Between Them 44

Snow-Light Chill 45

Jammed Hasp 46

Kissed 47

No Fire 48

A Drowse 49

Before the Inner Breath 50

Only a Funnel 51

About the Endure 54

Laid on a Rack 55

Cover the Sidewalk 56

Who Is Your Name 57

In the Shirt You Wore 58

With a Damp Drawn 59

If He Came Back 60

Withut Hand-Hold 61

To See the Look 62

After it Comes 63

What People are Saying About This

Peter Covino

“Shadow-Feast, the deft, wrenching title of this collection, inspired by the enigmatic internationalist writer Lafcadio Hearn, provides one of many keys to experiencing the meticulous linguistic ‘ceremony’ and rich ‘repast’ of Joan Houlihan’s singular work. These are urgent and fiercely incorruptible lyrics where the unsettlingly oblique and surreal is juxtaposed against moments of lucid and visceral anguish: ‘We had married ourselves to a trance.’ And ‘When they came for him full-dressed / and somber, they lifted a body made lighter / by suffering, laid it into the rubber bag / then zipped it to the top of his head.’ Who writes with this kind of prescient confidence and startling lyricism besides Joan Houlihan? Emily Dickinson, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Harryette Mullen come to mind.”

Rusty Morrison

“‘COME TO THE WAIT and the sea/flexes sleek in the sun,’ Joan Houlihan tells us, and we sense the subtle disruption of our expectations of normalcy. We’ve entered an alternative sense of time, one lived daily by those facing an encroaching death, and we find ourselves intuitively responding to how the coming of a death offers this constancy: all will become foreign, all hopes and self-protective devices will be violated.”

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