On Looking Essays

ISBN-10: 1932511393

ISBN-13: 9781932511390

Edition: 2006

Authors: Lia Purpura
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Description: "Purpura is the real deal, and so is every successive sentence in this collection. A cornucopiac vocabulary is married to a strict economy of expression; an offbeat curiosity is married to the courage of difficult witnessing. . . ."-Albert Goldbarth "Purpura's prose is a system of delicate shocks-leaps and connections and syncopated revelations, all in the service of the spirit negotiating the truth of its experience."-Sven Birkerts Lia Purpura's daring new book of lyric essays, "On Looking", is concerned with the aesthetics and ethics of seeing. In these elegantly wrought meditations, patterns and meanings emerge from confusion, the commonplace grows strange and complex, beauty reveals its flaws, and even the most repulsive object turns gorgeous. Purpura's hand is clearly guided by poetry and behaves unpredictably, weaving together, in one lit instance, sugar eggs, binoculars, and Emerson's words: "I like the silent church before the sermon begins." In "Autopsy Report," Purpura takes an intimate look at the ruin of our bodies after death, examining the "dripping fruits" of organs and the spine in its "wet, red earth." A similar reverence is held for the alien jellyfish in "On Form," where she notes that "in order to see their particular beauty...we have to suspend our fear, we have to love contradiction." Her essays question art and its responses as well as its responsibilities, challenge familiar and familial relationships, and alter the borders between the violent and the luminous, the harrowing and the sensual.?? Above all, Purpura's essays are a call to notice. She iswriter-as-telescope, kaleidoscope, microscope, and mirror.?? As she says: "By seeing I called to things, and in turn, things called me, applied me to their sight and we became each as treasure, startling to one another, and rare." This is, indeed, a rare and startling treasure of a book.Lia Purpura is the author of "Increase "(essays), "Stone Sky Lifting" (poems), "The Brighter the Veil" (poems), and "Poems of Grzegorz Musial: Berliner Tagebuch" and "Taste of Ash" (translations). Her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Prose, a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright Fellowship, the Associated Writing Programs Award in Creative Nonfiction, and the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry. Her poems and essays have appeared in Agni, DoubleTake, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She is Writer-in-Residence at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland, and teaches at the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA Program in Tacoma, Washington.

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Book details

List price: $14.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Consortium Book Sales & Distribution
Publication date: 8/1/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.40" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

Lia Purpura is the author of "The Brighter the Veil, Poems of Grzegorz Musial: Berliner Tagebuch and Taste of Ash," and "Stone Sky Lifting," the 2000 winner of the Ohio State University/The Journal Award in Poetry. She lives in Baltimore, maryland, and teaches at Loyola College.

Acknowledgments
Autopsy Report
On Aesthetics
On Form
Recurrences/Concurrences
Brown
Sugar Eggs: A Reverie
The Pin
Red: An Invocation
The Smallest Woman in the World
The Space Between
Coming to See
Falling Houses: mise-en-scene
Glaciology
Spires
On Invisibility
On Praise
On Not Hurting a Fly: A Memorial
On Looking Away: A Panoramic
Notes
The Author
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