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Poets in Space

Guest Post by Susan Kay Anderson.

The Space Poet is written in well-researched prose-like stanzas so it appears scientific, logical. There are some list poems. The premise for this book is so super intriguing, that’s why I am writing something here so more people know about it!

A poet is sent to a space station to do research on what it is like (space) and write poems. This book could have been sparked by more recent projects about space (besides 2001: A Space Odyssey) Laurie Anderson’s Moon project, and Duncan Jones’ movie, Moon, but there are lots of space inspired books of poems, it seems (by looking around this book at the endorsements and epigraphs and such). I like this book because the idea of it is so strange and reading it does put one into the mood of the weirdness of space. The language of science is so weird. It can be. Enter advertising language of hype and sell.

From “Planet Hop from Trappist-1f!”

Planet hop from Trappist-1 f, the terrestrial Earth-sized planet
smack-dab in the habitable zone of our galaxy’s newly
discovered solar system and your new home amongst the stars!

These poems are kind of sad. It is melancholy in space.

From “The Cupola”

[ . . . ] the space poet cannot work with this, out here where nothing
is what you think it ought to be, where there is no rage [ . . . ]

[ . . . ] student loans or credit card debt, nothing is late for work,
nothing misses someone, nothing is late for work,
nothing misses someone, nothing loves or lives or leaves—
and what’s poetic about that?

I don’t want to say it but I will: the Pandemic. Plus, going to space to get rid of debt is kind of cruel, but I can easily see millions doing so.

The Space Poet by Samantha Edmonds. Split Lip Press, February 2020.

Reviewer bio: Susan Kay Anderson lives at the headwaters of Sutherlin Creek in southwestern Oregon’s Umpqua Basin. She is the author of Please Plant This Book Coast To Coast (Finishing Line Press, 2021) Virginia Brautigan Aste’s memoir. Anderson is a poetry reader for Quarterly West and Lily Poetry Review. Her poems are forthcoming in Barrow Street Journal, Heron Tree, and Wild Roof Journal.

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