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Publication Date: 10/6/2020
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The Snow’s Wife presents an unflinching examination of the final months of a marriage, ending with a spouse’s death. It explores the daily minutiae of caregiving, the tender and the distasteful, that lend startling poignancy and unbearable hardship— how these challenge even the most steadfast bonds between self and God, dismantling that spiritual partnership and re-creating a new one that seems at first a temporary refuge, but is later revealed to be sturdy and permanent. Lindsay’s poems investigate intimacy on trial in the face of loss.
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Frannie Lindsay’s previous volumes are If Mercy (The Word Works, 2016), Our Vanishing (Red Hen Press, 2014), Mayweed (The Word Works, 2010), Lamb (Perugia, 2006), and Where She Always Was (Utah State University Press, 2004). Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The American Poetry Review, The Yale Review, Field, Plume, Salamander, and The Best American Poetry 2014. She was awarded the 2008 Missouri Review Prize. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She teaches poetry workshops specializing in grief and trauma. She is also a classical pianist.
Frannie Lindsay’s poems recall Tsvetayeva’s epistolary prose in which corporeality is freed from its external boundaries, embracing, instead, the transcendent where, as Tsvetayeva wrote, “a dream hand takes / Another hand’s dream.” The sleeper, Lindsay’s late husband, is guided back home. But the book extends beyond elegies to hard-hitting evocations. In a prayer for her rapist, Lindsay offers “I hope he has learned / to slink unnoticed across the nights’ / sad meadows, leaving the asters / alone in their clusters.” God, Lindsay beckons, is both “beloved and exiled . . . we can no longer / awaken even one star.” The Snow’s Wife is a remarkable book of unbroken, emphasized silences, of enduring heart and intuition: “The snow, had it been kind, / would fall again like old magnolia petals // loosening all at once when it was time.”
—Dzvinia Orlowsky, author of Bad Harvest
PAST PRAISE FOR FRANNIE LINDSAY
Why, when Frannie Lindsay calls me to walk with her on the Way of the Cross, do I find myself saying yes, yes, thank you? Is it because her beautiful, pungent, sensual laments confirm that I’m not crazy, that the world is in fact as sad and full of grace as I thought? Is it because Lindsay has already written several fiercely lovely books of poems that are essential to me, such that now I will follow her voice absolutely anywhere? Yes, and yes, and thank you.
—Patrick Donnelly, author of Little-Known Operas
From “In November, Everything Departs”
But behold, too,
the bosomy gloom of libraries. The lamps,
so earnest and adequate over the little desks.
I can bear to look as happiness fades
from its tedious season. I can endure
each vesper bell tonguing against
its brave lip; the thrill in words like reckon,
atone, and widow. How they are one another’s
encrypted siblings. The things they know.
The things they harken.
From “November on Fresh Pond”
But most of all I have loved
afternoons the color of found pennies
and dogs at home in the worlds
of only their names
and the lonely
tall and at peace with their shadows
everything seems to be holding hands
although it is nothing perhaps
but the light with great care
joining together the proper ends of things
as the wind grabs bone specks
away from her palms. The wind
has other blowing to do.
Someone cries, and the months
don’t care. Someone tends
the plants and they bloom.
As if informed, the mail
stops. Then God appears
as a story, or as the breeze
where a story belongs:
in your bed. We came.
We held your face. Summer
came too. We had to
allow her in.
The Snow’s Wife
Pub date – October 6, 2020
Trade paper – 6 X 9″
Notable Voices – Poetry