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Cover for Captivity


Laurie Sheck


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (6/2/2009)


I feel a pleasure of never contained sweep over me, now that I know place is never
Clear or wholly settled, not even the veins on the underside of a leaf, its freedoms.

At once tender and fierce, concise and associative, Laurie Sheck’s Captivity charts and explores the textures and movements of mind in her gorgeous, long-lined poetry. Placed at intervals throughout the book are poems the author calls “Removes,” which take their initial impulse from American captivity narratives and constitute a profoundly felt inquiry into what is familiar and what is strange, what it means to be displaced and radically apart, and how disruption itself becomes its own kind of opportunity. The poems describe a psychic territory both desolate and exultant, as Sheck embraces the fragmentary, yet stays alert to what remains “mysteriously standing.” She writes, “Thinking has a quiet skin. But I feel the break and fled of things inside it. ” In Captivity, Sheck illuminates this shadow-thought world that governs what we are and attains provocative glimpses of the fluid self.

Praise For Captivity

“Sheck [is] one of the most accomplished lyric poets writing in America today.” —Boston Review

“These lyrics bring fresh insight out of numbness and joy out of sorrow.” —The New Leader

Knopf, 9780307265395, 96pp.

Publication Date: February 27, 2007

About the Author

Laurie Sheck is the author of four previous books of poetry, including "Black Series "and "The Willow Grove," which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work appears widely in such journals as "The New Yorker, The Kenyon Review, Verse, "and "Boston Review." The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ingram Merrill Foundation, Sheck has also been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and is a 2006-7 Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She teaches in the MFA Program at the New School and lives in New York City.