Raptus

 

Reviews

“In every generation of American poets, there seems to be one collection which, however gently, however tactfully, changes the tone and sets a new direction. John Ashbery’s Rivers and Mountains was one such, and Jorie Graham’s Erosion was another. I am deeply convinced that Raptus very soon will prove to be among that company. Joanna Klink has moved human relationship into a vatic, visionary place, and we are changed.”—Donald Revell

“Joanna Klink’s new work is wrought from a kind of spiritual exactitude. Even through her numinous cortège of aching, a wild kindness keeps the poems aloft. When she writes (of poetry itself) ‘I held it to my throat unabashed,’ you believe her. She does not flinch.”—Lucie Brock-Broido

“To say that Raptus is heartbreaking is to tell only half the story. The books is, in fact, uplifting. Here is a poet abiding desire as both the sharp-beaked raptor for whom we are undone into carrion and the radiant rapture that draws us heavenward, that scatters us among the stars. Not only does Joanna Klink aspire to the firmament, she arrives.”—D.A. Powell

“In Raptus, Joanna Klink fearlessly inscribes, in consummate lyric art, a bearing of profound loss not often brought to utterance, but she has done so—musically, beautifully, in tensile language, in a vertiginous form all her own that transports us from one consciousness to another. This is a poet who knows which losses are irreparable, and also the suffering that shall not heal, the singing that lifts—washed, unwinged—and is nevertheless heard on every page. Klink is a genuine poet, a born poet, and I am in awe of her achievement.”—Carolyn Forché

“[Klink] has a rhythmic dedication, a sense that every last emotional corner will be examined in its own time and a keen focus aimed as much at herself as at others. As it cycles through need and loss, this book illuminates just how inextricable experiences can be from the people with whom they are shared.”—Publisher’s Weekly

“These poems are a reckoning, a challenge to the poet and the reader to move through the sharpest pain with honest awareness and remain present in the world during and after. They are brave, startling, and beautiful poems, and Raptus is among the strongest collections published this year.”—Powell’s.com

“Klink’s most recent collection, Raptus, places the emotional aftermath of a significant breakup against a background of natural, mainly Western, landscapes. But she has been writing about detachment for years, and her work is a record not only of the ecstasy of engagement with the natural world, but also of the mixed and passionately felt consequences of detachment from a noisier, more chaotic world.”—Boston Review

“Part of what makes Joanna Klink’s poems so remarkable is their refusal to rely on the ironic tones and gestures that are stock-in-trade among her contemporaries. In this intensely lyrical book, her third and best, a crisis of faith provides the occasion to commit again to a life of compassion, care, and grace.”—The Week

“Transcendence has taken a hard hit over the last half-century or so, leaving few poets willing to brave the topic. Joanna Klink’s third collection, however, masterfully navigates the treacherous zone between the lyric and the all-too poetical…To articulate the ineffable is a bold project, especially given the bittersweet unlikelihood of its success. Happily Klink has the talent, determination, and wisdom to take it on and weather it.”—Boston Review

“The poems in this collection are crafted with an artful, lyrical hand, evoking a kind of elegant, spiritual accomplice in their making.”—American Poet

“In Raptus, Joanna Klink’s third collection of poems, heartbreak and the end of a long-term relationship extend this original poet’s body of beautiful work with an exactingly pursued sense of the thievery and bravery of aftermath.”—RonSlate.com

“Such moments of wonder and strangeness—wonderful strangeness—buoy the book, let it charm us with its insights and quirks…‘The way you hold something in you matters,’ she says. I believe her in this assertion, which could stand as an argument for the book: the way we see the world, the way we process it and keep hold of our understandings…makes up who we are.”—Kenyon Review