“. . .poetry that modulates between the language of migration and weather, and the abstract vectors of sign, iteration, desire, and erasure.”
—Oyster Boy Review
Available in print.
Jocelyn Emerson is the author of Sea Gate (Alice James Books) and Confirmations of the Rapt (Red Dog Press). Recipient of the Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Angela J. and James J. Rallis Memorial Award from The Humanities Foundation, Boston University, her current manuscript projects are Ashen Light (poetry) and Loves Limbecke: Essays on Medicine and Poetry. Recent scholarship includes book chapters in Textual Healing: Essays on Medieval and Early Modern Medicine (Brill) and Science and Literature (forthcoming, Rodopi). Her work has been anthologized in The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries, and her poems, reviews, and criticism have appeared widely in journals such as American Book Review, American Letters & Commentary, Denver Quarterly, Electronic Poetry Review, and New American Writing.
“Jocelyn Emerson’s densely lyrical, highly cerebral poetry mixes a concern with the fluid boundaries of the self and an evident infatuation with the languages of science and natural description. Her recurrent themes of natural mass and process and their representation are offered by the poems in Sea Gate as intermingled, interdependent phenomena equally worthy of the poet’s close attention, and equally problematic in the demands they place on poetic language. Their insistent embodiment in images of the sea and the coastline offer a sustained geography of the author’s poetic imagination, a mapping of experience onto desire.”
—Cold Mountain Review
“In Sea Gate, the world swings very wide. Earth and Sky, and the masses of earth and sky, present themselves in spoken musculature and lucid phosphorescence. They are flowers, too, and, as Jocelyn Emerson so boldly avows, they are also you and I.”
“Attending to both John Clare and to Emmanuel Levinas, Sea Gate advances gracefully the project of recent American poets who have sought through poetry to know this world, this universe, its traces and living engagements: ‘And the stellar breeze of a misnamed / phenomenon can be seen well / in a nebula’s cast-off shroud.’ Reasserting a dialogue between truth and beauty, Jocelyn Emerson has given us renewed grandeur and consolation.”
“Jocelyn Emerson is one of the most talented poets of our shared generation, a writer for whom mind and music are one. Her rich, visionary work draws on Dickinson’s obliquity and abrupt surprise, Stevens’ palpable embodiments of idea, and Hart Crane’s raptures of language (not to mention his infatuation with the sea) to create something utterly new, a poetry of glittering surfaces and nearly hermetic density in which the dark whistles and the ash sings, and momentarily the charred and broken are made whole. Sea Gate is a luminous book, dazzling as sunlight on churned water.”
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