Hello friends! Quick news: My next book, Severance, my fourth full-length collection of poetry, will be published in April by Salmon Poetry in Ireland. Hopefully, soon, I’ll have a cover to show you. The book will be launched Mar 27-30 in Portland, Oregon at The Associated Writing Programs Conference. I’ll share details soon about when I’m signing copies, if you’ll be there and want to buy your copy before tens of millions of others do. ;o)
Here is some advance praise for Severance, in the meantime.
“Lush with invented compound words and quirky rhymes, the poems in Severance represent a confluence of timeless allegory, hallucination, and rock opera staged in a puppet theater lit by a tinfoil sun. In a collection that describes a sequence of devastating losses from the point of view of an Ishmael-like survivor, Grief serves as a sort of interlocutor, at once companion, instigator, enemy, doctor, prophet, and god. Fanning enacts lyricism-as-salvation in songs “all contusion and blue” which tamp the wound, snip the strings of fate, and open the scarlet curtain into day.
—Diane Seuss, author of Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl and Four-Legged Girl, Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
“In Severance, his fourth full-length book of poems, Robert Fanning has severed the strings from the poet as marionette—the poet tied to poetic form, tethered to how a poem takes its shape and moves about on the page—to make a book like no other. Prepare to be undone, unhinged, unstrung by the strange song that is this book. Prepare for its strangeness to rearrange everything you believed a book of poems might be.”
—Peter Markus, author of Bob, or Man on Boat, and five other books of fiction, the latest The Fish and the Not Fish. He lives in Michigan where he teaches as the senior writer with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project of Detroit.
“Robert Fanning’s Severance contains a large grief miniaturized and given a proscenium stage and a script. Here, a Professor converses with Grief in between Oldsongs that have the music of a lullaby in a performance of orchards and snow that wants to make an order out of the cold eternity. The metaphors change with each angle, circling and closing in on a message, a meaning in the difficulties of loss. This book helps me see the beauty of a grief master, a puppeteer who uses grief to activate the gone, as if our pain for those we’ve lost is the song that keeps them dancing in the Winterland. It’s not life, but something like it, until we finally, mercifully, cut the tethers and truly let those we’ve lost go on without us.”
—Traci Brimhall, author of Saudade, Our Lady of the Ruins, and Rookery
Thanks, as always, for your support!