The Game of Boxes

The Game of Boxes

by Catherine Barnett


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*Winner of the 2012 James Laughlin Award*

The second collection by Catherine Barnett, whose "poems are scrupulously restrained and beautifully made" (Edward Hirsch, The Washington Post)

Everyone asks us what we're afraid of but children aren't supposed to say.

We could put loneliness on the list.

We could put the list on the list, its infinity.

We could put infinity down.

—from "Fields of No One to Ask"

In Catherine Barnett's The Game of Boxes, love stutters its way in and out of both family and erotic bonds. Whittled down to song and fragments of story, these poems teeter at the edge of dread. A gang of unchaperoned children, grappling with blame and forgiveness, speak with tenderness and disdain about "the mothers" and "the fathers," absent figures they seek in "the faces of clouds" and in the cars that pass by. Other poems investigate the force of maternal love and its at-times misguided ferocities. The final poem, a long sequence of nocturnes, eschews almost everything but the ghostly erotic. These are bodies at the edge of experience, watchful and defamiliarized.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781555976200
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication date: 08/07/2012
Pages: 88
Product dimensions: 5.92(w) x 8.72(h) x 0.23(d)

About the Author

Catherine Barnett is the author of a previous poetry book, Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced. She has received a Whiting Writer's Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in New York City.

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