The first chapbook of 2021 is only all the blood by Sara Luisa Kirk. I was drawn to the sparse, yearning beauty of the poems, each of which is paired with a “word wall” that looked to be a kind of source material. The pieces were numbered . . . but out of order. Turns out, as Sara explains, that the word lists are sourced from song lyrics on the Sufjan Stevens album, Carrie and Lowell. That album had been a balm to Sara during a difficult time, and she chose to use the lyrics’ source language to create her own poems. As the pieces were completed, they “demanded their own sequence” but the song numbers were kept as parts of the reordered poems.
Like Stevens’ album, which was about the loss of his mother, these poems explore the end of a complex relationship. It’s a stirring, engaging exploration.
“we spurn hope
This chapbook is now available on the Titles page.