New poetry form Murfreesboro poet laureate, Aime Whittemore.
STAR-TENT: A TRIPTYCH is a speculative poetry collection that asks, through rich lyricism and formal experimentation, how what lies beyond the earth can shape how we reside on this planet. Each section of the manuscript follows a different narrative; the narratives are thematically linked, each dealing with some element of engagement between humans and what lies beyond Earth. In the first section, a woman writes letters to the aliens who abducted her; in the second section, a space explorer, trapped in a black hole (thus an "Indestructible Observer") sends transmissions home; and, finally, the third section is a series of sestinas from an alien species' perspective detailing its encounter with the Voyager Golden Record. Through these intergalactic encounters, the poems examine what it means to be human, and what it means to contemplate one’s own humanity through the lens of extreme otherness.
"Amie Whittemore’s complex and beautiful collection is an imaginative triptych that takes readers through a universe that can whet so many appetites. Through lyric epistles to extraterrestrials, we read about a desire made—not by contact—but by the absence after. In interstellar explorations, there’s a struggle with inherited longings. Through it all we see the refusal to translate the unknowable. Instead of all the rehearsed intimacies, here they are sudden and gray, delicious and over too soon. Every turn surprises and deepens, and I’m in awe of these poems, how the search for connection can cross time, distance and celestial address, and how a person can finally meet themselves in the care of others." –Traci Brimhall
Amie Whittemore is the author of the poetry collection Glass Harvest (Autumn House Press, 2016), the 2020-2021 Poet Laureate of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. As part of her laureateship, she founded Dream Geographies: An Arts Collaborative and Write with Pride, a series of writing workshops for LGBT+ teens in middle Tennessee. Her poems have won multiple awards, including a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, and her poems and prose have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Nashville Review, Smartish Pace, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She is the Reviews Editor for Southern Indiana Review and teaches English at Middle Tennessee State University.