Someone Else's Wedding Vows (Paperback)
Someone Else's Wedding Vows reflects on the different forms of love, which can be both tremendously joyous and devastatingly destructive. The title poem confronts a human ritual of marriage from the standpoint of a wedding photographer. Within the tedium and alienation of the ceremony, the speaker grapples with a strange human hopefulness. In this vein, Stone explores our everyday patterns and customs, and in doing so, exposes them for their complexities. Drawing on the neurological, scientific, psychological, and even supernatural, this collection confronts the difficulties of love and family. Stone rankles with a desire to understand, but the questions she asks are never answered simply. These poems stroll along the abyss, pointing towards the absurdity of our choices. They recede into the imaginative in order to understand and translate the distressing nature of reality. It is a bittersweet question this book raises: Why we are like this? There is no easy answer. So while we look down at our hands, perplexed, Someone Else's Wedding Vows raises a glass to the future.
About the Author
Heavily influenced by a family of writers and artists, including the late poet Ruth Stone, Bianca Stone began writing poems at a very early age. She collaborated with the poet and essayist Anne Carson on "Antigonick," published by New Directions in 2012. She lives in New York City.
"Stone’s poems astutely and honestly address the longing and cost of human connections."
Bianca Stone’s poems are powerful, moving, and original. There is an amazing image center in her brain! Her brain (psyche, heart) can wrestle the matter of life to the ground (a pleasure for matter), and shapechange with it, and it does not give up its ghost but reveals, in joy and sorrow, its spirit.Stone’s poems are highly charged, lively, and interesting. They are fiercely anti-sentimental, and emotionally generous. They have a distinctive underlying grieving compassion. I see in her work the natural weirdness and leaping of our minds. But wilder! It’s as if she can take her mind out of gear, out of its prosaic limitations, and overhear, and sing, the strange true thoughts and feelings we have when we’re at our most genuine and unprotected. In her poems we’re in the presence of a naked human voice, not concealing itselfor over-reaching to expose itselfwhich dives as deep as voices go.”
Sharon Olds, Pulitzer-Prizewinning author of Stag’s Leap
Let’s say hypersensitivity ranks high up among poetry’s necessary attributes. Let’s say that to ride the back of a parable and make it past the bell rates further fervent notice, and let’s say we want to pay attention to a poet who says we will perceive our own pain in others/and we will know if we are capable of loving them. Open the book, read this poem: Reading a Science Article on the Airplane to JFK,’ and then I’m confident you’ll want to spend a lot of time with Bianca Stone’s astonishing debut book.”
Dara Wier, author of Remnants of Hannah
I read the work of our most brilliant young poets to be reminded that it is still possible, despite everything, for our abused and decimated language to ring out the difficult truths of full-on awareness. The best of them, like Bianca Stone, do not settle for mere cleverness. They know it is not enough to be brilliant, that it is essential in poetry not merely to report the miseries and blessings, but to transform them. When she says, I saw the devil with his stitching techniques/textiles and shadow/saw his hands that never stopped’ or I found a small notebook called The People of Distress,’ I really believe her, and believe she is going to the difficult places and writing these poems in service not just to herself, but to us all, so that we can go to them and together find a little hope.”
Matthew Zapruder, author of Come on All You Ghosts
"Bianca Stone’s poetry has the glow of 21st-century enlightenment and lyric possession. Hilarious and powerful, Someone Else’s Wedding Vows will have you come to terms with the vehemence of her magic."
Major Jackson, author of Holding Company