The book traces the late life, addiction, and death of the speaker’s father, a Los Alamos scientist, living along the banks the Animas River in rural northern New Mexico. The tone is elegiac, the poems rooted in the particularity of a place. Repeating themes include addiction, loss, the ghosts and voices that haunt, agitate, and sometimes, console us.
“Joni Wallace’s elegiac Landscape with Missing River is as sonically rich as it is lyrically alert. Insects ‘scrape and chew’ in the ‘mandible grass.’ ‘Grasshoppers rasp a too- bright opus.’ A wildfire smolders into ‘notes of a fugue.’ Toads ‘sound out a mercy chorus.’ Landscapes shimmer with details chiseled to the essence of mourning: ‘Sleet comes, a shroud in verglas, ice / slivers falling // on fences, the clothesline. You are dead.’ Grief for the dying father, who in one haunting poem ‘sees the end of seeing,’ glosses these spare poems with grace. This exquisite collection is utterly mesmerizing.” —Cynthia Hogue
Joni Wallace is the author of four books of poetry: LANDSCAPE WITH MISSING RIVER, KINGDOM COME RADIO SHOW (Barrow Street Press, 2016) finalist for the Colorado Prize, the Besmilr Brigham Award, Word Works' Washington Prize, and AROHO's To the Lighthouse Award; Blinking Ephemeral Valentine, (Four Way Books, 2011), winner of the Levis Prize (selected by Mary Jo Bang); Redshift (chapbook)(Kore Press, 2001). She earned her MFA at the Universithy of Montana, and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona.
Author City: TUCSON, AZ USA