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OUR ECHO OF SUDDEN MERCY by Hari Alluri
RICOCHET SCRIPT by Alexandra van de Kamp
GLOW by Ann Hudson
“We have always been the consequence of stories,” they intone. Here, attentive to the ode in downbeats of lament, Alluri finds a restorative poetry: that the incantatory in the fragmented can be heard as a form of wholeness, that displacement can become a way of being in the world, one which holds and is held by listening, by care and collaboration.
Alexandra van de Kamp’s Ricochet Script examines life as a plot slipping from our hands, veering in unexpected directions as years coalesce behind us. These poems bargain with time as a foreign, surreal, and elusive entity, where whole days can feel as if they were “written/in someone else’s script.” In vivid, at times playful musings, van de Kamp grapples with midlife, loss, and the strangeness of the body, while never forgetting the unrelenting beauty of being alive. These poems invoke a wide range of storylines, from Hitchcock’s Lifeboat and spy thrillers to aging parents, to confront the unpredictable and ricocheting world.
Ann Hudson’s Glow investigates the mystery of radium: the vision of Marie Curie who discovered it through labor and sheer will; its rise to fame as a health craze; the critically important work it did for the medical field; and its widespread use in luminescent paint which made watches glow in the dark. But Glow is also an investigation into what makes us tick, our curiosities, ambition, and our sense of purposeful work. These poems explore how one luminous substance—the hunt for it, the search for its secrets and powers—can be understood as a life force of its own, even as it has the power to whittle that life force to nothing. These poems show radium as destructive as it is illuminating.