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Human Costume

Authors: A.E. Stringer

Published by Salmon Poetry

ISBN: 9781907056185

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The poems in Human Costume explore the multiple figures we become. If spirit inhabits form, then our human selves wear flesh and feeling like costumes that both veil and reveal what animates us.

"Is this a laugh on real / life or a mask we cannot take off, put down?" the speaker asks in 'Low Opera', considering life's imitation of art. At the heart of the book lies the calendar's juxtaposition of All Hallows Eve and All Saints Day, which celebrates the soul's extremes.

From the unearthly delights of being alive in the cosmos, through the sufferings of armed conflict and the further trial-and-error of work and love, to the artful (and artfully misrepresentative) forms our human desires take, this book takes a wide angle on the great pageant.

"Our lives are elevated when they're sympathetic to poetry's wavelengths. We're grateful to find this can happen. In A.E. Stringer's poems this happens as though it were second nature."
Dara Wier

A. E. Stringer is the author of a previous collection of poems, Channel Markers. His work has appeared in such journals as The Nation and Antaeus, as well as in the recent anthology, Backcountry: Contemporary Writing in West Virginia. He has recently edited and introduced a new edition of Louise McNeill's classic Appalachian poetry collection Paradox Hill (West Virginia University Press, 2009). He has travelled to read his work in a wide range of American locales and also in Galway, Ireland. For the past twenty years, he has taught writing and literature at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
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