The Switching/Yard (Pitt Poetry Series)
We see the open truck cab, the farm workers on the corner waiting for pick-up; we see the speaker returning west to find the long-abandoned story of the birthfather. There is no stable landscape here except the horizontal action of moving through. Landscape becomes story. In this extended tale of the idea of family, we find stand-ins for the father in the form of a hit man, Jim Morrison, and ultimately the unyielding road takes the place of the body. The Switching/Yard is at once the horizontal world of the birth table where babies are switched, the complex yard of the body where gender routinely shifts and switches, and the actual switching yard of the trains that run the inevitable tracks of this book.
Praise For The Switching/Yard (Pitt Poetry Series)…
—D. A. Powell
”Pablo Neruda Prize winner Beatty’s persona wears her mother like a dress (‘her neck a blue V / for her blue vagina that birthed six babies’), tries to buy a gun off a man who has ‘hurt people,’ and moodily declares that there is ‘nothing as lonely as / a crane not working.’ In short, she cannily captures a desolate American landscape, striking the pose of a skate punk kickflipping his board: ‘brilliantly indestructible’.”
”Takes us on an unforgettable quest through two countries, through crack dens and ghost railyards, beat-up cars and rolling orchards, to the final soaring words of love and redemption. It is, in simplest form, the story of fighting to find one’s place in a shattered world.”
“There’s a distinctive voice, remarkable poems that arrive at distilled moments of tenderness.”
—Pittsburgh City Paper
University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822962410, 80pp.
Publication Date: March 31, 2013
About the Author
Jan Beatty is the author of three previous poetry collections: Red Sugar, Boneshaker, and Mad River, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of the Creative Achievement Award in Literature from the Heinz Foundation, the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, two fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and inclusion in The Best American Poetry 2013, among other honors. Beatty is cohost and producer of Prosody, a weekly radio program featuring the work of national writers. She is the director of the creative writing program at Carlow University.