Elizabeth Cantwell - Nights I Let the Tiger Get You

07/23/2014 7:00 pm

Please join Green Apple Books on July 23rd at 7:00 p.m. as we welcome Elizabeth Cantwell as she reads from her debut collection of poems Nights I Let the Tiger Get You.

Elizabeth Cantwell’s poems unfold in the nightmarish space between seeing a monster and discovering you are unable to scream. Nights I Let The Tiger Get You occupies that liminal moment between sleep and waking, when the objects of everyday life have grown distorted and ominous. Cantwell's poems touch on picnics and metamorphosis, addiction and taxidermy. How can words absorb a history that keeps resisting expression? "And in the space inside your head, between / your eyes and your ears, an entire / planet throbs." 

In her brilliant debut collection, Nights I Let the Tiger Get You, Elizabeth Cantwell excavates layers of contemporary anxiety to reveal that Blake’s Tyger has been, all along, that rough beast slouching toward us, and is in fact now living among us—with an unsettling intimacy—in both our unconscious and daily lives. Elizabeth Cantwell’s poems honor the disjunctions of voice and dislocations of consciousness present in our century, and their elegant and luminous shards glint in the darkness like the Tyger’s stripes. These exquisite reflections form a kind of handbook of post-apocalyptic forms, as the most psychologically fraught aspects of our dreams slowly emerge as the actual landscapes of our lives. 

—David St. John

The surreal volleys in Elizabeth Cantwell's poems vividly capture the miniature catastrophes and cataclysms hidden within suburban America and its culture. Her poems 'Recess' and 'Interlude,' with their taut imagination, echo that horror in our lives to make something happen. The tiger in these poems is real, synonymous with an unnamed anxiety, and roams at will through our haunted lives: “we’re flying  / onto some other field of pistols. We have / more than one shot.” Her vision is unconventional and often brilliant.

—Mark Irwin

ISBN-13: 9781625579065
Availability: On Our Shelves (as of this morning)
Published: Black Lawrence Press, 5/2014

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