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In Incarnadine, Mary Szybist restlessly seeks out places where meaning might take on new colour. Through the lens of an iconic moment, the Annunciation of an unsettling angel to a young woman, Szybist describes the confusion and even terror of moments in which our longing for the spiritual may also be a longing for what is fundamentally alien to us. In a world where we are so often asked to choose sides, to believe or not believe, to embrace or reject, Incarnadine offers lyrical and brilliantly inventive alternatives.
Mary Szybist is the author of a previous poetry collection, Granted, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She teaches at Lewis & Clark College and lives in Portland, Oregon.
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“Mary Szybist’s poems are about religious and sexual longing and about suspicion of religious and sexual longing . . . She has a gift for music, a gift for aphorism, a gift for being haunted.” –Robert Hass
“Mary Szybist’s lovely musical touch is light and exact enough to catch the weight and grind of love. This is a hard paradox to master as she does.” –Kay Ryan
“Mary Szybist’s great poetic gifts confront the limits of human compassion, delving into some of its agonized consequences. Her work’s ambition is the creation of a free human in the midst of the seemingly endless tetherings of desire.” –Jorie Graham