Date of this Version
Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Shane Book’s collection, Ceiling of Sticks, is a powerful and unflinching sort of documentary poetics. It bears elegiac witness to the effects of global politics on individual lives. Book’s poems carry us to Uganda, Ghana, Mali, Trinidad, and Canada’s west coast; from a religious sacrifice in Tarahumara, Mexico, to Book’s ailing grandfather’s bedside. They bring an intimate vision of humanity to scenes of inhuman atrocity and suffering; a moment of clarity and empathy to individuals overwhelmed by war or other man-made catastrophes. The attentiveness of the poems and meditative lyrics reveal a careful allegiance to their subjects and a fearless refusal to turn away. Filled with experiences of Africa and Latin America, California and the Caribbean, family and lost love, these poems resonate with the intensity of truth as it is lived and written.