American expatriate Carrie Etter's debut collection, The Tethers, introduces a compelling new voice. By turns wry, celebratory, and pensive, the poems roam from an imaginary village to Manhattan, the southwestern U.S., London, the Czech Republic, and Etter's homeland, the Illinois prairie.
With a lyric intensity born of compression and linguistic precision, the travels in The Tethers are as much psychological as physical, exploring the life of the mind as it engages with delight and despair, pleasure and hardship, in an unusually mature first book.
"Many contemporary poets blow away in the gale of nihil and nonsense that life is becoming, but some still try to weather it – Carrie Etter is one of the few to have found strong roots to cling to, and one of the very few in whose lines one can discern the flesh-and-blood figure of a witness wholly alive, alert to the evidence, unsparing but unjudging, getting it down by heart. Sorrowing, glad, graceful, The Tethers is a rich and significant debut."
"The Tethers is full of highly intelligent, often finely cadenced and in the best sense measured poetry. Carrie Etter deftly fuses accents of modern America and England with a strong sense of the Classics. Nuanced, lyrical, occasionally humorous, these poems reveal time after time an acute sense of 'the rise and fall of what we cannot moor'."
"Terse, wry, discreetly metaphysical, Carrie Etter's poems have the economy of good jokes. A first book to be remarked."
Originally from Normal, Illinois, Carrie Etter lives in Bradford on Avon and teaches creative writing at Bath Spa University.