by Adam Clay


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Stranger is a book of both great change and deep roots, of the most rich elements of the earth and the instability of a darkening sky. The third collection by Adam Clay dives into a dynamic world where the only map available is "not of the world / but of the path I took to arrive in this place, / a map with no real definable future purpose." Tracing a period of great change in his life—a move, a new job, the birth of his first child—Clay navigates the world with elegance and wonder, staring into the heart of transition and finding in it the wisdom that "Despite our best efforts to will it shut, / the proof of the world's existence / can best be seen in its insistence, / in its opening up." By firmly grasping on to the present, the past and the future collapse into the lived moment, allowing for an unclouded view of a way forward.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571314635
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publication date: 03/15/2016
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Adam Clay is the author of two previous books of poetry, The Wash (Free Verse Editions 2006) and A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World (Milkweed Editions 2012). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Poetry Daily, Crab Orchard Review, Boston Review, and elsewhere. He co-edits TYPO Magazine and teaches at the University of Illinois Springfield. He lives in Illinois with his wife and daughter.

Table of Contents



To Take Note of Where We Are 3

Northern Lights 4

Disruption Without Shrapnel 6

Along the Edge of a Season 7

Don't Look Back 13

Exhibit A 14

Home as a Haunt 16

The End Time Before the End Time 17

Even a Straight Line Must Curve to Shape the World 18

Upper Peninsula 20

Sometimes I Miss Your Life More Than I Miss You 26

Tell Me Now, Again, Who I Am 27


Start This Record Over 31

Sounds of an Emptying House 33

Not Quite Right 51

Compost Hymn 52

Occupied Elsewhere 53

Our Eternal Sounds 55

East Jackson Drive 58

The Cradle of All There Is 59

Elegant Comparison 61

Our Daily Becoming 62


This Is a Frame 65


Abstract Evolution 99

For the First Fog of October 100

Glare 102

Season 103

Honest Attempt 104

First Winter in Kentucky 106

Nightcap 115

The Hardness and the Brightness 116

Everyone Trying to Start / Something New 118

On Silence and Sleep 120

This Pastoral Way of Living 123

Forecast and Its Failure 126

Biographical Patterns 127

What I Remember 130

Notes 133

Acknowledgments 135

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