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Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry
Only for you do the two mute girls on stage
who falter at first, erratic as static
in the synaptic gap between each image,
imperceptibly jolt to life-
grinning, tap-dancing, morphing into footage,
their arms like immaculate pistons, their legs
like knives . . .
It lasts a minute, their having-been-written
-from "The Mutoscope"
Sinéad Morrissey is one of the most fascinating talents in international poetry. Recently appointed as Belfast's first poet laureate, she creates poems known for their combination of keen intelligence and whispered intimacy.
In Parallax, which won the 2013 T. S. Eliot Prize, Morrissey explores what is captured, and what is lost, when houses and cityscapes, servants and saboteurs ("the different people who lived in sepia"), are arrested in time by photography (or poetry), subjected to the authority of a particular perspective. Assured and disquieting, Morrisey's poems explore the paradoxes that result when we attempt to freeze our passing experience through art.
This edition of Parallax also includes Morrissey's own selection of her favorite poems from her previous collections, published for the first time in the United States. In their variety of subjects and styles they trace the evolution of a poet, showcasing the formal mastery and tenderness that define her work.