Today's poem is "Song of the Abducted"
from Dark Familiar

Sarabande Books

Aleda Shirley is the author of Long Distance (1996) and Chinese Architecture (1986), which won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kentucky Arts Council, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Mississippi Arts Commission. In addition to her two collections of poetry, she has published two chapbooks, Rilke’s Children (Larkspur Press) and Silver Ending, which won the St. Louis Poetry Society’s Stanley Hanks Chapbook Competition. In addition, she has edited The Beach Book (Sarabande Books) and a Mississippi literary guide with the Center for the Study of South Culture in Oxford, Mississippi.

Other poems by Aleda Shirley in Verse Daily:
June 3, 2006:   "The Customary Mysteries" " When they transferred the site of Hades to the air..."

About Dark Familiar:

"Dark Familiar paints a world of riddled colors, black-jacked, blue-mooned, violated magic, silvered phantoms, gothic shades. It is a book for the living, of the living, shot through with intimations of mortality, what Shirley calls the "customary" mysticisms that surround the body's finity and frailty, the heart's febrile, thumping hope, the imagination's darker power to resurrect. Aleda Shirley is a feline writer, stealthy and carnal and lush. In her first collection in nearly a decade, Shirley has staked her claims, the familiar, deeply human ones: that emptiness is permanent, that hope is tenuous, that connection is infinite, but that the body is exact in danger, prone to bad luck and to miracle—and all within that brutal, brave phenomenon where one is settling the debt of one's terrestrial accounts. These narratives are harrowing, and hallowed, striking, dark, familiar, strange, and beautiful, and wise."
—Lucie Brock-Broido

"I read Aleda Shirley's Dark Familiar for the first time with the usual cautionary doubts, and the second time with a specific unease, then the third time with pleasure. Shirley is an invasive poet and when you feel you're on the verge of the expected she surprises you. Dark Familiar is, simply enough, fine work."
—Jim Harrison

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