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Cover for Still



Sandra Meek


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In her fierce new collection, poet Sandra Meek subverts Renaissance still-life painting in order to illuminate the perhaps irreparable natural and cultural harm inflicted by colonial forces, even those that manage to create a certain beauty from imperial spoils.

Still re-imagines the Renaissance concept of the studiolo, a room displaying cabinets of wonder, each juxtaposing human-made art objects, such as miniature still-life paintings, with natural ones—harbingers of the coming wonders and catastrophes of travel brought back from distant lands Europeans claimed as “discoveries.”

These poems shimmer with the wonders of the natural and aesthetic worlds—and in doing so, reckon with environmental, colonial, and sexual violence, with the oppression of silencing as well as the reclamation of voice. In confronting violations of body, family, culture, and nature, Still gives voice and image not only to what is still, what has been stilled, and what is in danger of being forever stilled, but also to the marvel of survival.

Persea, 9780892555055, 96pp.

Publication Date: January 14, 2020

About the Author

Sandra Meek is the author of five previous books of poetry, most recently An Ecology of Elsewhere, which earned her the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year and the 2017 Peace Corps Writers Award in the poetry categories. She is also the editor of an anthology, Deep Travel: Contemporary American Poets Abroad. Meek is Dana Professor of English, Rhetoric and Writing at Berry College.