Sum of Every Lost Ship, Allison Titus

Sum of Every Lost Ship

Allison Titus

Publisher: Cleveland State University Poetry Center
PubDate: 11/16/2009
ISBN: 9781880834886
Price: $15.95
Quantity Available: 30
Pages: 78
SKU #: L05E

Poetry. This debut collection of poems both fascinated with and distracted by our impending endings and leave-takings, the loneliness of animals, and "how the histories of things eat." These poems populate empty parking lots and seaside pawnshops and depart from a port at Deadhorse, Alaska. A narwhal gives cryptic advice to those requiring guidance on eulogies, arctic travel, and extracting minerals from ghosts. Allison Titus presents us with quiet meditations on how absence often remains fixed as longing, a red thread knotted at the wrist.


Allison Titus lives in Richmond, Virginia. Her chapbook, INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE NARWHAL, was published by Bateau Press in 2007, and her poems have been appeared in Crazyhorse, jubilat, DENVER QUARTERLY, Indiana Review, American Literary Review, and A Public Space, among other journals. She holds an MFA in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and an MFA in fiction from Virginia Commonwealth University, and she has recently completed her first novel. She is married to the poet Joshua Poteat. SUM OF EVERY LOST SHIP (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2009) is her first full-length poetry collection. 

Reviews and Other Links
"Former Automotive Plant " @ Verse Daily
Jake Adam York @ Ron Slate's On the Seawall
Sara C. Rauch @ NewPages
Marc Schuster @ Small Press Reviews
David Carillo in Octopus Magazine
Katie Byrum @ Gulf Coast
Sandra Beasley @ Blackbird
Jessica Bozek @ Galatea Resurrects
Amelia Klein @ Boston Review

Sum of Every Lost Ship navigates what is haunting, strange, and unknowable—grief and disappearances, fragments and histories. Reading, we are deftly balanced on the shores of mystery, a mystery fathomed by a keen instinct for metaphor. Allison Titus is a writer exquisitely attuned to compassion, isolation, and the sometimes overlooked details of this sturdy and tenuous world—goats’ hearts, schooners, cabinets, arctic realities. This is a startling and moving collection.”
—Talvikki Ansel

“The pilgrim heart,” as one of Allison Titus’s exquisite phrasings has it, requires an unmooring, a letting go, into a world marked by passing journeys, passing architectures, almost-lost motels for intimates to get lost in—a hardscrabble world rich with leavings. An internality emerges, sets out, to congress with the obstinate, the creaturely. This poetry’s experiment takes us to the fact that the everyday is also experimental, in that, familiar as it is, it can never, if it is seen intensely enough to be durably writ, be wholly predicted. So fine a lyric sensibility as the reader will find in these poems is all the more compelling for acknowledging the human limits of the lyric, for making hard choices, even refusals, and for never romanticizing omission—i.e., obliteration—but testing it at every step with earthly perceptions. Allison Titus’s Sum of Every Lost Ship presents readers with a striking new poetry, and a beautiful and truly original voice.”
—William Olsen

“We choose / what soothes us,” writes Allison Titus in this intricate collection, and yet I don’t quite believe her; Titus’s choices here are invariably brave and unflinching, thus wonderfully jarring. She pays careful attention, and her sights land on deafening gallops, shipwrecked utterances, waking night terrors. This close-up looking reminds us of our essential predicament—“What we need / is a surefire way to strap the bed / onto the trembling boat,” she tells us—and yet, in Titus’s steady hands, capsize seems not only necessary danger but uncanny adventure.”
—Kerri Webster

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