A book of wild imagination and linguistic play, Nowhere begins by chronicling the pain that the speaker and her absent father endure during the years they are separated while he is in prison. The alternative universe the speaker builds in order to survive this complex loss and its aftermath sees her experimenting with her body to try to build connection, giving it away to careless and indifferent lovers as she dreams of consuming them in the search for a coherent self. But can the speaker voice her trauma and disjunction? Can anyone, or is suffering something that cannot be said, but only hinted at? Ultimately the book argues that the barest hour of suffering can be the source of immense creative power and energy, which is the speaker's highest form of consolation.
This brilliant debut collection offers cohesive trauma narratives and essential counter-narratives to addiction stories, and it consistently complicates the stories told by the world about so-called fatherless girls and the bodies of women.
Through magical realism, Schmid transforms the seasonal perils of girlhood, demonstrating compassion for that which both disgusts and enthralls.'--Megan Fernandes, Harriet Books
Honeyed, ambrosial, but with an underlying threat of decay, the poems in Nowhere are a tangle of grief and longing at the place where elegy meets aubade, where a girl 'is trying to climb into another girl / through her mouth' and a monster 'hung his grief // like curtains in the air.' . . . Morbidly funny, sexy, blistering, and vulnerable, Nowhere is a triumph, a wound that glistens in the dark.'--Emily Skaja, author of Brute: Poems
Nowhere is the gut-punch, roller-coaster study of a psyche forged from absence and longing. I'd call it haunting, but that's a bit too Vanity Fair for the gritty-pretty tones that temper Katie Schmid's unflinching poems. Nowhere is actually haunted. Traces of the 'ghost father's' signature traits--recklessness, addiction, and magnetism--ensnare the speaker in turn, manifesting in swaggering revelations about self-sabotage, intimacy, and the nature of possession. Nowhere is a BIG mood. Katie Schmid is scary good.'--Marcus Wicker, author of Silencer
There is a complexity of feeling, consideration, and language in Katie Schmid's Nowhere, a work that carries the weightiness of elegy and the defiant hopefulness of incantation as she writes the hard things: of the body, the painful legacy of family, and the dangerous force of desire. In 'At the Bus Stop' she captures with characteristic self-awareness and grace the spirit of her collection: 'Here is the grief / at the heart of my language' In poems of great technical mastery and vulnerability, Schmid's Nowhere announces the arrival of a beautifully unsettling and sensual voice in American poetry.'--Kwame Dawes, author of Nebraska: Poems
Katie Schmid writes with crushing honesty--each narrative impulse fractured with the paradoxical urge of poetry: to contain what is impossible to contain, to say what is unsayable. Tracing the contours of the body, of masculinity and motherhood, Schmid's poems reveal, one by one, each grief that gender makes of us, each loss desire demands we bring back into ourselves. And yet, the necessary beauty of longing shines through in each swallowing, in each insatiable and sorrowed line of this stunning collection.'--Stacey Waite, author of Butch Geography: Poems
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