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Joanna Rawson
The sky threatens to answer a prayer but then won't.
It is not exactly our own minds we go out of.

—from "The Insurgency"

A man’s sister sews him into a bus seat. Stowaway immigrants suffocate in a crowded boxcar. The first female suicide bomber passes through a checkpoint. Joanna Rawson’s Unrest shows the fervent, if not desperate, side of humanity pressed to the limits. With a resonant lyricism and profound beauty, these poems are restless meditations on American life, political borders, lawlessness, parenthood, and the spaces where the natural world and human turmoil come into conflict. Here is the voice of the poet at one moment in contemplation and at the next in emotional outcry, stuttering into song.


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The second collection by award-winning poet Joanna Rawson, whose "intense language recalls the hothouse prose of Cormac McCarthy."—Kirkus Reviews


About the Author

Joanna  Rawson
Credit: Stephen Mohring
Joanna Rawson is the author of two poetry collections, Quarry and Unrest. Her work has appeared in American Poetry ReviewAntioch ReviewMother JonesNimrod, and Salon. She has received awards from the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, Can Serrat International Art Center, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She writes for Public Art ReviewUtne magazine, and other periodicals, and works as a Master Gardener in Northfield, Minnesota, where she lives with her husband and their two girls.

Photo credit: Stephen Mohring
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  • "Page after page [Rawson] lays down achingly beautiful art which has, at its heart, a dead-serious and steely-eyed consciousness."—Corduroy Books
  • Unrest mourns the loss of an innocent belief in a world without catastrophe.  The speaker stands, inconsolable, on a brink between order and debris, without a language to convey it.”—Malinda Markham, The Antioch Review
  • "Vivid, nature-aided description is what makes Rawson's poetry so potent. Unrest is bound to shake up your perception and that is exactly the intent."—Minnesota Reads
  • "Each line is balanced, as is the book, despite its overwhelming intimacy of terror."—The Feminist Review
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