The Exchange (Paperback)
Graywolf Press, 9781555976415, 88pp.
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
"Black's voice is startling, jagged and implacable, and [her poetry] is steep, precipitous and dazzling." —Los Angeles Times Book Review
* A finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Poetry *
I took care of myself. I took care
Of myself, thinking much too often
I took care of someone else.
Everything feels like payment.
—from "Pay Attention"
In The Exchange, Sophie Cabot Black explores the surprising interplay between mortality and money, between the next world and this one, between the language of disease and the language of finance. Following a beloved friend through a long illness and eventual loss, these poems confront in stark emotion the aftermath, even as the outside world—the world of debts paid and collected, of power and dominion—intrudes. What is gained and what is sacrificed, and how can those profits and losses be measured when the currency involved is love?
About the Author
Praise For The Exchange: Poems…
“[Sophie Cabot Black has] concocted a way of speaking in poetry that's very fresh and daring.” —Billy Collins, The New York Times
“These meditative, aphoristic poems deal with paying witness to illness, questioning both the future and the afterlife. . . . In these poems Black weaves sheer elegance and devastating knowing.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The poems in The Exchange are emphatically alive. This fierce energy breathes life back into the hopeless soul. . . . The Exchange is Sophie Cabot Black's best and most eloquent book to date.” —Carol Muske-Dukes, The Huffington Post
“Black has received praise for her taut lyrics of elusive yet enchanting elegance. [The Exchange] continues that trend, and here Black confronts various forms of trade and exchange, from stocks on the New York Stock Exchange, to life for death, to a child for the sacrificial lamb.” —Booklist
“Accomplished. . . . Black's writing is distinguished by its control and lack of extravagance; we experience the pain, the loss, the moment when her friend acknowledges that he is dying as quietly illuminating moments, and all the better for it. A lovely work for many readers; surely even those who don't typically read poetry will find understanding here.” —Library Journal