Poetry. Mary Hickman's THIS IS THE HOMELAND consists of eight poetic sequences written over a ten-year period, begun when she worked as a surgical assistant in open-heart surgeries. The sequences are linked by an attention to the visceral elements of language and by an exploration of the themes of health, transformation, desire, and identity. Hickman charts the precarious and ecstatic response of consciousness surrendering itself to language and experience, a vertigo in which the self is called back to itself and the world through losing itself. These poems are as much about love as loss, therefore—elegies to times, places, and people whose presences sear and haunt the poems. Using the teeth of language to grapple with the exhilarating passage of time, THIS IS THE HOMELAND presents the deft maneuverings of a vibrant new poetic intelligence—sensuous, sensitive, and awake.
Mary Hickman was born in Idaho and grew up in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop where she received an Iowa Arts Fellowship. She works for the International Writing Program in Iowa City. Author City: IOWA CITY, IA USA