Join us on Thursday, January 7 at 6pm PT when Maw Shein Win and D.A. Powell read their work in celebration of Win's latest collection, Storage Unit for the Spirit House, on Zoom!
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Praise for Storage Unit for the Spirit House
“These spare poems are haunted. With a blown-up heart, Win writes about possessions and flashes that hark back like ghosts to our before’s. In Storage Unit for the Spirit House prisons, tombs, portals, bottles, storage units are memorials. I would call these poems luminous and gorgeously darkly-edged, bellowing as they do with the knowledge that we never truly depart from all of our departed things.”-Ingrid Rojas Contreras, author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree
"Maw Shein Win has no weaknesses nor restraints in this collection that might map how thought and memory were meant to exist. Poems that sharpen the soul. Cosmic architecture made from and into the simple organs of small places. And while an afterworld owes her for its articulation, she won’t kick the ghosts while they are down."-Tongo Eisen-Martin, author of Heaven is All Goodbyes
About Storage Unit for the Spirit House
In Win's poems, Nats-Buddhist animist deities from Burma-haunt spaces and hover around objects, and her language interrogates how pain in life can transform someone into a nat that lives on.
With sharp focus and startling language, the poems in Maw Shein Win’s second book, Storage Unit for the Spirit House, look through physical objects to glimpse the ephemeral, the material, and the immaterial. Vinyl records, felt wolverines, a belt used to punish children, pain pills, and “show dogs with bejeweled collars” crowd into Win’s real and imagined storage units. Nats, Buddhist animist deities from her family’s homeland of Burma, haunt the book’s six sections. The nats, spirits believed to have the power to influence everyday lives, inhabit the storage units and hover around objects while forgotten children sleep under Mylar blankets and daughters try to see through the haze of a father’s cigarette smoke.
Assemblages of both earthly and noncorporeal possessions throughout the collection become resonant and alive, and Win must summon “a circle of drums and copper bells” to appease the nats who have moved into a long-ago family house. This careful curation of unlikely objects and images becomes an act of ritual collection that uses language to interrogate how pain in life can transform someone into a nat or a siren that lives on. Restrained lines request our imagination as we move with the poet through haunted spaces and the objects that inhabit them.
With sharp focus and startling language, the poems in Maw Shein Win’s second book, Storage Unit for the Spirit House, look through physical objects to glimpse the ephemeral, the material, and the immaterial.
D. A. Powell's first three groundbreaking books
Published together for the first time, D. A. Powell's landmark trilogy of Tea, Lunch, and Cocktails make up a three-course Divine Comedy for our day. With a new introduction by novelist David Leavitt, Repast presents a major achievement in contemporary poetry.