The collected works of one of contemporary poetry’s most original voices Gathered together, the poems of Frank Bidart perform one of the most remarkable transmutations of the body into language in contemporary literature. His pages represent the human voice in all its extreme registers, whether it’s that of the child-murderer Herbert White, the obsessive anorexic Ellen West, the tormented genius Vaslav Nijinsky, or the poet’s own. And in that embodiment is a transgressive empathy, one that recognizes our wild appetites, the monsters, the misfits, the misunderstood among us and inside us. Few writers have so willingly ventured to the dark places of the human psyche and allowed themselves to be stripped bare on the page with such candor and vulnerability. Over the past half century, Bidart has done nothing less than invent a poetics commensurate with the chaos and appetites of our experience. Half-light encompasses all of Bidart’s previous books, and also includes a new collection, Thirst, in which the poet austerely surveys his life, laying it plain for us before venturing into something new and unknown. Here Bidart finds himself a “Creature coterminous with thirst,” still longing, still searching in himself, one of the “queers of the universe.” Visionary and revelatory, intimate and unguarded, Bidart’s Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2017 are a radical confrontation with human nature, a conflict eternally renewed and reframed, restless line by restless line.
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Half Light- poems, Heather Minette, 2018, 58 pages. Heather Minette is also the author of Rooftops and Other Poems, published by Blue Hour Press in 2013. She earned her M.A. in Literature and Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies from The University of Houston - Clear Lake, and Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies from Rice University. She lives in Kemah, Texas with her husband and son and writes at heatherminette.com. The world Minette creates in Half Light is alive with the glory of everyday objects, splintered beams and buckled floors, whiskey, scabbed knees and sundresses, and thanks to Minette's keen eye, readers will emerge from that world better ready to appreciate their own. Joanna Eleftheriou, Assistant Professor of Literature at The University of Houston - Clear Lake
Elisabeth is a picture restorer. This gives her the solitude and independence she needs - living and working alone in her flat. Despite her skills and reliability, Elizabeth undercharges for her work - valuing the worth of the paintings rather more than herself. Her ambitions are modest: beauty to look upon, unintrusive friendships and complete privacy. But when a mysterious and obviously wealthy man commissions her to restore his fabulous collection, an uncharacteristic combination of curiosity and financial need prompts her to accept his offer. Elisabeth soon realises her error, as the past and the present combine to make privacy her nemesis. As she becomes hostage to her patron, her lover and her friend realise they know nothing about her, or where she might be.
Stumbling in the Half-Light follows a self-professed “chubby little half-breed” from the Six Nations reservation as he embarks on a lifetime of spiritual adventures within the Baha’i community. Through fifty-two short, autobiographical stories, John Sargent retells a life of humour, humility, loss, and faith. John’s endearing openness leads him through a life of adventure—from a childhood on the reserve, to years in Africa, to a career in architecture and finally as an administrator of First Nations communities. But his real calling: was to bring the Baha’i faith to First Nations communities throughout North America. Some of the reviewers of the manuscript had this to say about Stumbling in the Half-Light:
Imagine a city divided. Fae and human mages on one side, vampire Blood Lords and shape-shifting Beast Kind on the other. Between these supernatural forces stands a peace treaty that threatens to shatter at the slightest provocation.... I was raised to do the right thing. But to my family that means staying safe behind the walls of human society. To be a respectable metalmage and never put myself at risk. But the treaty is faltering. And if it fails, nothing is safe. To help save the city and everyone I care about, I will use whatever means I can to ensure the negotiations to renew the treaty are successful—even if that means forging an alliance with a man who is the very opposite of the right thing.... Fen is trouble. Wild. He would rather bind himself in iron and drink himself into oblivion than learn to master the visions that come to him. Those visions might just hold the key to peace, and it seems that my power might hold the key to his control—if I can keep it around him....