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Horror Vacui: Poems [Paperback]

Thomas Heise

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Book Description

April 1 2006
"These are ambitious, moving poems, deft, panged, and stunning."—Dean Young

"Existential chilliness, mourning, and dread find a uniquely compelling voice in Thomas Heise's poetry. . . ."—Alan Williamson

" 'Horror Vacui' offers an often vertiginous account of how death imposes [an] irresistible fact on minds bent on both accommodating and resisting this one inevitable yet impossible truth. . . . And it's this property of being barely held together that makes 'Horror Vacui' so striking. . . . an extraordinary mood piece."—Ray McDaniel


In his haunting debut collection 'Horror Vacui', Thomas Heise explores the fear of empty space, a mysterious and abiding absence that is a pronounced presence in this poet's lyrical voice.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Sarabande Books (April 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932511326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932511321
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.5 x 0.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,512,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Haunted by the death of a father, a quietly panicked speaker stages a wily battle against silence in the 26 poems of Heise's debut. The title poem imagines a family spinning out of control in the absence of paternal rule: "You see, over there,/ your children have taken the house/ apart plank by plank and have/ thrown it in the water." A harrowing series of poems called "These New Days" describe a world forever changed and unfamiliar: "...if returned// would you discover someone else, strange in my tattered suit?" And several revisions of the poet's own obituary attempt to accept and take control of death: "Mr. William Thomas Heise, 29,/ entered into rest from massive heart/ failure on Friday, September 22nd,/ 2000. He was scuba diving alone/ at the moment of his death." Many of the poems are cast in narrow, justified columns, as if to head off even the minor chaos of jagged lines. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Thomas Heise is the author of 'Horror Vacui: Poems' (Sarabande, 2006), 'Urban Underworlds: A Geography of Twentieth-Century American Literature and Culture' (Rutgers University Press, 2010), and 'Moth; or how I came to be with you again ' (Sarabande, 2013). He is an Associate Professor of English at McGill University and divides his time between Montreal and New York City.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cold wind Oct. 1 2006
By eaubelle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
blows through this book. Heise's voice is so lyric, haunted but also married to an ear keen on music, the rhythmic impulse that drives a poetic line. Specific images, (associated with florida, childhood) recur and keep drifting from poem to poem, like the mind is stuttering, trying to find the specific, right way to say, "what I have lost, I remember", "I lost what I remember", "What I remember I lost".

Stunning debut.

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