Red Hen Press, 9781597098588, 88pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
At the heart of Joshua Rivkin's debut collection Suitor is a profound wrestling with desire, history, and the big questions of how we make and perform a self in the world. In conversation with the confessional tradition, Suitor begins with a sequence of poems about a mother's boyfriends and lovers, and how these relationships inform the speaker's own understanding about eros and masculinity. At the center of the book is a lyric essay, "The Haber Problem," that moves beyond the self and personal history to retell the story of the scientist Fritz Haber. Later sequences and poems reflect on the past with erotic directness, longing, and lyric intensity. With grace and honesty, the poems of Suitor ask what it means to be a suitor in the fullest sense--to follow, to pursue, to chase the inexplicable hunger at the heart of desire.