A sand book

Ariana Reines

Book - 2019

A Sand Book is a poetry collection in nine parts, a travel guide that migrates from wildfires to hurricanes, tweety bird to the president, lust to aridity, desertification to prophecy, and mother to daughter. It explores the negative space of what is happening to language and to consciousness in our strange and desperate times. From Hurricane Sandy to the murder of Sandra Bland to the massacre at Sandy Hook, from the sand in the gizzards of birds to the desertified mountains of Haiti, from Attar...'s "Conference of the Birds" to Chaucer's "Parliament of Fowls" to Twitter, A Sand Book is about change and quantification, the relationship between catastrophe and cultural transmission. It moves among houses of worship and grocery stores, flitters between geological upheaval and the weird weather of the Internet. In her long-awaited follow-up to Mercury, Reines has written her most ambitious work to date, but also her most visceral and satisfying.

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2nd Floor 811.6/Reines Due Jul 21, 2022
Subjects
Genres
Poetry
Published
Portland, Oregon : Tin House Books 2019.
Edition
First U.S. edition
Language
English
Physical Description
402 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9781947793323
1947793322
Main Author
Ariana Reines (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* It's unusual for a collection of poems to run over 100 pages, let alone more than 300, the length of Reines' tour de force. Divided among a dozen sections, all of which almost function like separate books, Reines' wildly rewarding poems are connected through clarity of voice, generous irreverence, and seemingly limitless purview. Drawing the title from a quote by the great German-language poet Paul Celan (NO MORE SAND ART, no sand book, no masters.), Reines proves erudite in her selection of material, and readers may need to conduct quick research to decipher her subject matter, which traverses haboobs (violent sandstorms), schisandra (a medicinal fruit), and the Ramayana (an ancient Sanskrit epic). This is only a fractional sampling of this book's rewards, which include photographs, artwork, and symbols tucked between pages of deeply introspective and confessional poems, but Reines also includes super-concise snippets that incorporate internet slang (it makes / you glow n calluses / On yr fingers now / Rasping wordlessly thru me). It may prove impossible to completely characterize this powerhouse collection, which is part of its magic. Reines' creation is to be paged through slowly, and revisited often, as it truly contains multitudes. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In her fourth full collection, poet, playwright, and performance artist Reines (Tiffany's Poems) presents a passionate portrayal of a young woman struggling to live and love in a complex world. Throughout, she imbues the ordinary with depth and uniqueness ("The sun rose debarred/ By the tall beards of the bank// Buildings"). Spiritualism is an occasional theme, as are music and travel ("Don't you understand by now// That dust can fall on anything/ In any country"), and the poet weaves the personal and political ("i was in buenos aires/ bleeding, with a Kavanaugh/ migraine") while investigating the ecological ("Do you remember when Fire and Ice was a bad perfume"). These and family illness and dysfunction provide dark backdrops, yet the writer persists in celebrating life: "pyramidal mandarins" and "Singed broccoli florets of my heart." VERDICT In a collection this large, some, even many, poems could have been weeded. But readers will be pulled in by the quality of the writing, which throbs with a Kerouac-like energy, and the poet's worldview, at once innocent and world-weary, cosmopolitan and everyday.—Doris Lynch, Monroe Cty. P.L., Bloomington, IN Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

The fourth book from Reines (Mercury) is ambitious in its scope and artistic vision, offering a postmodern take on the epic poem. Like some of the major long-form poets who have preceded her, among them H.D., Lorine Niedecker, and Adrienne Rich, Reines inhabits and renegotiates the space of the long poem. The nine-part poem's sprawling scope considers Hurricane Sandy, the mountains of Haiti, and Twitter, offering conceptually interesting passages and a wholly original response. Despite these strengths, the poems in this volume occasionally traffic in abstraction, failing to ground vague concepts in sensory detail: "Many of us had succumbed to quivering/ Idiocy while others drew vitality from careers." Throughout the book, Reines's enjambments heighten the sense of irony that characterizes her approach to the feminist epic. She writes, for example: "Nothing she meant to make a big/ Deal of, only some tiny budging/ Of memory." The poems operate primarily on the level of ideas, rather than through lyrical language, though the speaker's deadpan tone does not always succeed in creating the sense of momentum needed to propel the reader through this textual landscape. (June) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A Sand Book is a poetry collection in nine parts, a travel guide that migrates from wildfires to hurricanes, tweety bird to the president, lust to aridity, desertification to prophecy, and mother to daughter. It explores the negative space of what is happening to language and to consciousness in our strange and desperate times. From Hurricane Sandy to the murder of Sandra Bland to the massacre at Sandy Hook, from the sand in the gizzards of birds to the desertified mountains of Haiti, from Attar's "Conference of the Birds" to Chaucer's "Parliament of Fowls" to Twitter, A Sand Book is about change and quantification, the relationship between catastrophe and cultural transmission. It moves among houses of worship and grocery stores, flitters between geological upheaval and the weird weather of the Internet. In her long-awaited follow-up to Mercury, Reines has written her most ambitious work to date, but also her most visceral and satisfying.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Longlisted for the National Book Award"Mind-blowing." —Kim Gordon

Review by Publisher Summary 3

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