Under the Capsized Boat We Fly: New & Selected Poems - Gail Wronsky
$18.00, ISBN 978-1-945680-45-8
Under the Capsized Boat We Fly: New & Selected Poems collects over four decades of work by this unique and imaginative poet. Wronsky's poems, informed by her reading of classical texts as well as contemporary poetics, explore feminism, environmentalism, and mortality in language that is both multi-layered and musical. At times dark and at times humorous, her poems speak to our strengths as well as our frailties.
“Gail Wronsky is an astonishing poet whose work I’ve turned to for more than twenty-five years to find the most deeply compassionate, artistically complex and intellectually astute poetry being written in this country. She is a literary revisionist of the most exquisite order, reconstructing the poetic canon, challenging the historical conventions of poetry and striking urgent, lyric chords of female empowerment. A breathtaking stylist—at times philosophical and meditative, at times powerfully gestural and painterly—Gail Wronsky is a poet of lasting beauty and relentless invention. With this book she takes her rightful place among the most celebrated of American poets.”
—David St. John
“A master of the lyric, a visionary never far from the complicated, wondrous relations between world and imagination, body and mind, Gail Wronsky is one of our most indispensable poets. Her Under the Capsized Boat We Fly: New and Selected Poems brings together a body of work that is at once fierce, sensual and startling: “I lie like a sunbeam/amazed/at the edge of the page.” The scale, the point of view Wronsky inhabits––part oracle, part brilliant best friend––is unlike any poetry I know. Anarchy, domesticity, death, love, and the delicate, almost unnoticed invisibilities of the quotidian reign, never far from revolution. An epigrammatic wisdom arrives by often standing on its head: an uncanny truth that is so second-guessed and interrogated one can’t help but trust in Muriel Ruykeyser’s prediction: “If a woman said the truth about her life, the world would split open.” At last, as Etta James would sing it. As spiky and uncompromising as the work of Leonara Carrington, these poems carry a rare, mystical alchemy. And as Wronsky writes, “I am the woman filming it.””
“Gail Wronsky’s Under the Capsized Boat We Fly, New and Selected Poems begins by
introducing the poems’ speaker as “an almost live and frightened woman”. It is
thus that the reader knows s/he will travel delightedly and feverishly off-balance,
on a switchblade’s edge, feeling “as perishable as yesterday”, seduced by a sym-
phony in seven movements through time. Read this book slowly. You’ll be richly
rewarded if you’re attentive to “its scars wound with jasmine”.”
Gail Wronsky is the author, coauthor, or translator of twelve books of poetry and prose, including the poetry collections Imperfect Pastorals (What Books Press, 2017); Poems for Infidels (Red Hen Press, 2005); and Dying for Beauty (Copper Canyon Press, 2000, a finalist for the Western Arts Federation Poetry Prize). She is the translator of Argentinean poet Alicia Partnoy’s book Fuegos Florales/Flowering Fires (Settlement House Press, 2014), winner of the American Poetry Prize from Settlement House Press. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including Poetry, Boston Review, Antioch Review, Poetry International, and Volt. She is the recipient of an Artists Fellowship (2000) from the California Arts Council. Her work has appeared in anthologies, including Poets Against War; The Black Body; In Possession of Shakespeare; The Poet’s Child; and Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles. The Moose in the Moon, her book of poetry for children, was recently published by Tsehai Publishers. She has an MFA from the University of Virginia and a PhD from the University of Utah, and teaches at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.