A man disappears. The woman who loves him is left scarred and haunted. In her fierce, one-of-a-kind debut, Rebecca Lindenberg tells the storyin verseof her passionate relationship with Craig Arnold, a much-respected poet who disappeared in 2009 while hiking a volcano in Japan. Lindenberg’s billowing, I-contain-multitudes style lays bare the poet’s sadnesses, joys, and longings in poems that are lyric and narrative, at once plainspoken and musically elaborate.
Regarding her role in Arnold’s story, Lindenberg writes with clear-eyed humility and endearing dignity: The girl with the ink-stained teeth / knows she’s famous / in a tiny, tragic way. / She’s not / daft, after all.” And then later, playfully, of her travels in Italy with the poet, her lover: The carabinieri / wanted to know if there were bears / in our part of America. Yes, we said, / many bears. Man-eating bears? Yes, of course, / many man-eating bears.” Every poem in this collection bursts with humor, pathos, verveand an utterly unique, soulful voice.
This widely anticipated debut, already selected as a finalist for several prominent book awards, marks the first collection in the newly minted McSweeney’s Poetry Series. MPS is an imprint which seeks to publish a broad range of excellent new poetry collections in exquisitely designed hardcoverspoetry that’s useful and meaningful to anyone in any walk of life.