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Book Review :: Ephemera by Sierra DeMulder

Ephemera by Sierra DeMulder book cover image

Guest Post by Jami Macarty

Ephemera, by Sierra DeMulder, offers readers a “camaraderie among / women and death, ” acknowledging “the ecstatic briefness of it all.” In the first two sections of the collection, the poet focuses on her origins and roots, offering faceted responses to where she comes from: “the body / is a body for such little time.” The first section attends predominantly to “the women in my family,” especially the poet’s grandmother, who “waits for death.” The second section traces the progression of love the poet has known, from first love to queer love to lasting love, asking: “Who would sign up to love something / so impermanent.” The second-half of the collection focuses primarily on pregnancy—wanting and trying to become pregnant, ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and a viable pregnancy, and “waiting for our daughter.” These poems acknowledge “a thousand unrewindable moments” of grief “where all unfinished things dwell.” As these poems “leave… space for death,” they also offer “a blessing for each stitch.” In spite of or rather because DeMulder “give[s] thanks / for the loss,” recognizing life has “a levy on the road to” everything, she arrives triumphantly at the realization of an “intoxicating” and ephemeral “impermanence of enjoyment… everywhere.” Read these poems and “wake up back at the starting line, salvaged and full of hope.”

Ephemera by Sierra DeMulder. Button Poetry, June 2023.

Reviewer bio: Jami Macarty is the author of The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020), winner of the 2020 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award – Poetry Arizona, and three chapbooks, including Mind of Spring (Vallum, 2017), winner of the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award. Jami’s writing has been honored by financial support from Arizona Commission on the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, and by editors at magazines such as The Capilano Review, Concision Poetry Journal, Interim, Redivider, Vallum, and Volt, where Jami’s poems appear. More at https://jamimacarty.com/

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