Index of Haunted Houses (Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry)
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This is a book of ghost stories, and for the most part, ghosts are jealous monsters, intent upon our destruction. They never appear overtly here, yet we gradually become aware of the spirits in haunted houses in the way they tread over creaky floors, slam doors, and issue sudden gusts of wind. These poems are Koan-like--the fewer the words, the more charged they are. The engine driving the sense of haunting and loss is money, which Davis describes as "federal bone" boiling around us. Bison in Nebraska are reduced to bones, "seven/standing men/tall" fodder for the fertilizer used by farmers in the 1800s. There is, too, an equality to the hauntings--every instance has its moment, and persists, despite being in the past, present, or future. Index of Haunted Houses is spooky and sad--a stunning debut, one that will surprise, convince, and most of all, delight.
Sarabande Books, 9781946448668, 72pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
About the Author
Adam O. Davis' poems have appeared in many journals, including The Believer, Boston Review, Gulf Coast, The Paris Review, The Southern Review, and ZYZZYVA. The recipient of the 2016 George Bogin Award from the Poetry Society of America, he has received grants and fellowships from Columbia University, Western Michigan University, and Vermont Studio Center. A graduate of the University of California, Riverside and Columbia University, he lives in San Diego, California where he teaches English literature at The Bishop's School. He was also once hit by lightning. It felt, more or less, like you'd expect.