Emilia Danielewska's debut book of prose-poetry reveals the dead. Divided into four parts, Paper Caskets proposes a poetics of the box -- as coffin, as prose parameters of the page, as photograph, and as state of mind and body in the face of death. From the act of photographing the dead, to mourning the dead, and to preparing for death that is coming, here is work startling in its clarity, which exposes, as a photograph does, the complicated relationship humans have with mortality.
Paper Caskets looks beyond grief to see the dead as dynamic places where memory and body collide, where flesh rots and fluid seeps and we de/compose prose-poetry.
About the author
Emilia Danielewska was born Poland and grew up in Windsor, ON. She holds a Masters in English, Language, Literature, and Creative Writing from the University of Windsor. She currelntly lives and works in London, England. Her debut poetry book, Paper Caskets, will be released Fall 2018 and is part of the Crow Said Poetry series.
Excerpt: Paper Caskets (by (author) Emilia Danielewska)
Her legs, second position. Arms above her head, curved at the elbows, confined to the floor of her apartment. The music starts. Her first time in front of an audience. Blue, sparkly tutu, ballet slippers, she follows the girl in front of her onto the stage. Lights hit her eyes and she scans the audience for her mother, somewhere among the ghosted faces. First position, heels together, plié. The floor of her apartment as cold as her skin, skin stiff, stiff muscles. Her muscles stiff rubber from the hours of practicing her plié. Another girl pulls her hand, pulls towards stage left, wades through the lights, the music heavy against her temples, her knees shake, the room pirouettes. Her heartbeat echoes throughout the hardwood.
Praise for Paper Caskets
"In Paper Caskets, 'still-life' photography bears witness to all that gets left out, textual gaps unbury 'departed' words on the page, and a grief-stricken father contemplates his daughter as gemstone. In these sweet laments of grief, Emilia Danielewska unboxes praline cookie tins, insect suicides, and titanium bones, as each marvellous story-poem brings to life the intimate joy of memento mori."
~ Nicole Markotić, author of Rough Patch and Whelmed