Colorado State University Center for Literary Publishing


Escape Velocity

By Bonnie Arning

  • 2017
  • Pages: 78
  • ISBN: 978-1-88563-555-6
  • Book Dimensions: 6.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Price: $16.95
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Thirteenth in the Mountain West Poetry Series, edited by Stephanie G’Schwind & Donald Revell

“Confessional poetry is a historical moment that is over, but here is a fierce, intelligent, deliberate heir to its most evocative gestures. Here is an emergent narrative about love and domestic violence and grief and change, full of fearsome sympathy with the natural world and always burning: the burn of a cigarette on a forearm, the way shame burns, the burning down of what took such effort to build, the fires of renewal, and the stars of the cold cosmos of fate that burn with a heat we will never feel. But never—and here is where Bonnie Arning departs from her predecessors—never self-pity. What persists above all in this collection is the urgent necessity of language, thrilling in its originality, witty turn-of-phrase, or most keenly observed gesture of erasure followed by something so intuitive as to feel like the bravest of intuitions.” —Rebecca Lindenberg

“The cosmos drifts through the ink-dark background of Escape Velocity like a ghost, at once faint and incendiary. In the foreground, all the beautiful and dangerous elements of a woman’s life burn white-hot: marriage, restraining orders, addiction, silence, motherhood, and a landscape spreading out forever in every direction. The intersection of the astral and domestic—the ineffable and the witnessed—and the relentlessness and invention of Bonnie Arning’s writing give us the best of what lyric poetry has to offer.” —Michael McGriff

“‘You / have a heart that was made to shrink / tremendously. Now burst,’ Bonnie Arning commands in Escape Velocity—her debut collection of poems that explore, in heartbreakingly staggering images and explosive actions, the tumultuous ways we risk destroying each other in service of that blood-pumping muscle and the intricacies of simultaneously satisfying and disrupting the familial roles we take for granted every day. Make no mistake: these are poems about blood. About sex. About the ‘frequency a man will dash himself upon / the rocks. My body, the magnet he desires collision against.’ Here is a new voice in poetry we won’t soon forget.” —Gary Jackson

Bonnie Arning is a poet from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She earned her MFA from the University of New Mexico. Her work has appeared in Colorado Review, Prairie Schooner, Cream City Review, and others. Currently, she teaches English and ESOL in Corvallis, Oregon.