With unsettling beauty and a quiet magic, award-winning poet Souvankham Thammavongsa's Cluster will awe and amaze.
Acclaimed poet Souvankham Thammavongsa returns with her fourth collection, a book about meaning. Meaning can sometimes blow up, crack something we had not seen, or darken what had been seen so clear to us. Meaning can happen with so little and go on to take so much from us. Meaning can sometimes take a long time to arrive, years even, if ever. And it's possible meaning does not mean, and that in itself could be meaningful. Whatever happens to meaning, it is always there. It means even when you don't want it. Every poem in this book looks at meaning and the ways in which it arrives, if at all.
Souvankham Thammavongsa is the author of three poetry books, Light (2013), winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Found (2007); and Small Arguments (2003), winner of the ReLit Award. Her writing has appeared in Harper's, Granta, Brick, Best American Non-Required Reading, and other places. She has been in residence at Yaddo and has performed her work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. She was born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, and was raised and educated in Toronto.
Praise for Souvankham Thammavongsa and Light:
"The poems in Souvankham Thammavongsa's third book, Light, are by turns ethereal, beguiling and riveting in their dramatic exploration. . . . This new collection confirms Thammavongsa's place as one of the most interesting younger poets at work in the country." —Globe and Mail
"[T]his collection is a landmark in contemporary poetry." —Jury Citation, Trillium Book Award for Poetry
"Thammavongsa's skill is a pleasure. . . . [she] has distilled her meaning from her details so masterfully and with such confident wisdom that she seems to be reading nature. Through her eyes, we can believe we see the true meaning in things. When both language and the meaning of detail are distilled this way, a small miracle can occur—not only that these poems evidence a poet's tremendous faith in the word, but that this faith becomes ours." —Anne Michaels, author of All We Saw