"Equal parts attention as an act of prayer and tough-minded honesty, Aylor’s poems trouble affection for the hard-bitten world they create." —Pimone Triplett
CLOSE RED WATER is a book about leaving home and the complex processes of memory, haunting, and love. Broadly, the collection’s structure records the emotional arc of learning to leave, look back on, and love a place. As much as the poems of CLOSE RED WATER are focused on the land, ecologies, and intimacies of rural Virginia, they are also concerned with personal and collective memory, and especially the ways in which our imperfect memories are often not unearthed so much as they are put together or remade.
“An intense and haunting debut, Emma Aylor’s CLOSE RED WATER is an otherworldly calling, rich with detail, aching with a past that makes its way home to a field, a house, a room, daring to edge ever closer to the present. These poems are deftly crafted, drawing on the intimacies of landscape and nature, not as backdrop, but as characters—crows, ravens, honeycombs, salt-bleached and -broken trees—who interact with close kin, both here and departed. This is an astonishing collection where the ghosts of memory and forgetfulness live most brightly and alive here.” —Tina Chang
Emma Aylor grew up in Bedford County, Virginia, next to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her poems have appeared in New England Review, AGNI, Colorado Review, Poetry Daily, the Yale Review Online, and elsewhere, and she received Shenandoah's Graybeal-Gowen Prize for Virginia Poets. She holds an MFA from the University of Washington and is currently a PhD candidate at Texas Tech University.