Books

The Atheist Wore Goat Silk

“I have been a big fan of Anna Journey’s work for some time, and The Atheist Wore Goat Silk only deepens that poetry crush. Journey brings me surprise after surprise in language so vivid, peculiar, truthful, and moving, that I gulp the poems down, a glutton for their strange energies and observations. Journey’s formal concision, intelligence, and decorum rub up against her speaker’s slightly feral interiority. It’s this instinctive wildness of soul that I think allows Journey to capture what others miss within seemingly ordinary moments and states of being. This is a terrific book by an important poet.”

—Erin Belieu, author of Slant Six

“Precisely at a moment when American anxiety tempts us, as writers and readers, to embrace the most simplistic, forceful logic as false salve and worldview, Anna Journey’s lyrics remind us that there is a future in fluidity and the dark waters of myth. Listen to this siren’s song and you just might hear the version of your self that’s been drowned out lately.”

—Saeed Jones, author of Prelude to Bruise

“Anna Journey is gloriously alive to the most poetic of occasions—and here I don’t mean the sunset or the rosebud or the predictable nostalgia for first love—God no. Instead, she finds those unexpected snags in the fabric of living and with great skill pulls them back so we may perceive the humor, pathos, beauty, and grotesquerie there. She’s a perceptive observer of both the human and non-human endeavor: a cokehead gravedigger ‘waits/ for that day’s mourner’s to leave. So he can jump/ on the coffin to get it all the way down.’ The speaker’s grandparents prop up cushions for their cat who bounces off the walls, brain damaged from a crochet hook. And French bees that ‘sipped the sugared waste// that dripped from an M & M’s factory’ returned to their hives and ‘stoppered / the round cells with blue honey.’ These poems are as sweet and warped as that blue honey, unexpected and unaccountably delicious.”

—Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Unmentionables

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