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Book Title

The Exchange

Author 1
Sophie Cabot Black
Poem Excerpt
I took care of myself. I took care
Of myself, thinking much too often
I took care of someone else.
Everything feels like payment.
                        —from “Pay Attention”
In The Exchange, poet Sophie Cabot Black explores the surprising interplay between mortality and money, between the next world and this one, between the language of disease and the language of finance. Following a beloved friend through long illness and eventual loss, these poems confront in stark emotion the aftermath, even as the outside world—the world of debts paid and collected, of power and dominion—intrudes. What is gained and what is sacrificed, and how can those profits and losses be measured, when the currency involved is love?
Praise for Sophie Cabot Black:
“Black’s taut, resonant lyrics are chastened of all excess verbiage and reveal a poet of keen assurance and consummate craft, but perhaps what most amazes the reader is that such honed writing can speak with such emotional immediacy.”—Boston Review

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“Black’s voice is startling, jagged and implacable, and [her poetry] is steep, precipitous and dazzling.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review for The Descent

About the Author

Sophie Cabot Black
Credit: Alexander Black
Sophie Cabot Black is the author of The Exchange and two previous poetry collections, The Descent, winner of the Connecticut Book Award, and The Misunderstanding of Nature, winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award. She lives in New York City and in rural Connecticut.
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  • “[Sophie Cabot Black has] concocted a way of speaking in poetry that’s very fresh and daring.”—Billy Collins, The New York Times
  • “These meditative, aphoristic poems deal with paying witness to illness, questioning both the future and the afterlife.”Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • “The poems in The Exchange . . . are emphatically alive. . . . The Exchange is Sophie Cabot Black’s best and most eloquent book to date.”Huffington Post
  • “This austere collection of verse . . . is a poised exploration of the confluence of money, illness, sexuality, power, and sacrifice. . . . [A]n impressive feat of imaginative energy.”The L Magazine
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