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Sum of Every Lost Ship (Csu Poetry Series) Paperback – November 16, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


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

About the Author

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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Csu Poetry Series
  • Paperback: 78 pages
  • Publisher: Cleveland State U Poetry Center; 1 edition (November 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188083488X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880834886
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Clare M. Oldham on February 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Allison Titus's "Sum of Every Lost Ship" is that rare and beautiful book of poetry that you have likely spent years searching for. She presents us with isolation, and by presenting it, she becomes the companion to our own isolation, so that by the time you have finished reading, you retain the isolation minus the loneliness: this author understands the vulnerability of the individual.

Titus's book also presents us with a whole new female--a modern female, one who sees the world and its artifacts for exactly what they are--soft and hard, beautiful and ugly. Titus is as comfortable mentioning power plants, color TV sets, radios, powerlines, vending machines, clocks, automotive plants and batteries as she is comfortable mentioning handmade lace, corsets, tourniquets, cakes, doll eyes, dresses, heels and ribbons. She has married the two extremes and painted a provoking picture of life in the modern world, as a modern woman--not just that--as a modern observer. But she has done so discreetly. Many of these poems seem that they could be describing another century entirely, until some quick mention of a television or a radio propels the poem into the present day. But despite this, we feel that we are witnessing hundred year old histories, histories that seem remarkably and sometimes disturbingly familiar.

"Sum of Every Lost Ship" delves into relationships, why we have done what we've done, what we remember, what we have lost. These poems are nearly photographs.
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Format: Paperback
Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. "Sum of Every Lost Ship" is an anthology of poetry from Allison Titus, looking at the end of things and the lessons learned from these tragic and not so tragic ends. Poignant and with plenty of topics to think about, "Sum of Every Lost Ship" is a fine addition to any poetry collection. "Motel": Aspirin, radiator, one week for a modest rate./Thin drawers, thin shower, local calls only/phone./Your funeral jacket./My handmade lace./We have made a confederacy of meanwhile,/tender by tender./Evidence of how we were/faithful won't valentine the century so rived./So fevered, so inconsolable with mistake. Silos/ of dusk marry n and marry the room.
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