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Book Title

Still Falling

Author 1
Jennifer Grotz
Poem Excerpt
I thought of my mother, who’d once lain in bed
at the brink of dawn, very peaceful.
Very pleasantly, she said, for once
she felt no pain, she heard the birdsong
and knew death was right there if she chose.
It had been a preparation, she thought.
But later I understood: though they were gone,
I didn’t want to go to them, there was no other
place to go, Earth’s the right place for love.
—from “In Sicily”
Still Falling expands on Jennifer Grotz’s precise sense of craft and voice to investigate new territory in this astonishing collection. These poems are emotionally raw and introspective, exploring the profound capaciousness of grief. Grotz carefully and deftly carries the weight of losses and their aftermaths—the deaths of the poet’s mentors, friends, and mother; the endings of relationships; and the enclosures of a life spent in attendance to the world in a state of wanting rather than truly living. Here also are poems that movingly and crucially decide what dedicating one’s life to poetry might require.

But in the wake of painful loss, Grotz writes toward “this world, the living.” Her poems reveal and meditate on the paradoxical relationship between the literal and the figurative, at the heart of poetry itself, like the darkness and light of Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro. Still Falling is a book to be read slowly, calling readers back into the stillness of being, finding hope, “not death / where darkness and silence and dust are / only darkness and silence and dust.” 

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A searching new collection by a poet who “pays exquisite attention to everything she encounters” (The Washington Post)

About the Author

Jennifer  Grotz
Credit: Beowulf Sheehan
Jennifer Grotz is the author of Window Left Open and the award-winning author of two previous poetry collections, The Needle and Cusp. Her poetry has appeared in the New Republic, the New Yorker, and Best American Poetry. She teaches at the University of Rochester.
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  • “Bestowing many moving and lyrical insights, this deserves to be read slowly and compassionately.”—Publishers Weekly
  • "Coming from deep inside, these poems work by free association, often alluding to falling rain, snow, and even sunlight pouring onto a surface, all of which add a spiritual resonance to these hypnotic and meditative poems."—Diane Schraper, Library Journal

  • "You pick up a Jennifer Grotz book because you want to hear that voice again, and again. She’s making some of the finest work of our times. Maybe it’s no surprise, then, given these times, that her newest sweep of poems—Still Falling—is a cataract of grief, a cascade of elegy that is as quietly ecstatic as it is undaunted, steady, loving life as it mourns."—Jesse Nathan, McSweeney's
  • "Still Falling is sure to resonate for nearly all readers, as each of us carries into the collection our own losses and our own desperate need to calm."—The Poetry Question
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