Sylph, by Abigail Cloud

Selected by Dana Levin as Winner of the 2014 Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize. "The inner lives of demons, the demonic forces of opera and ballet, a soupcon here and there of fairytale, of Moulin Rouge and Belle Epoque: Sylph offers up a vivid melange of sonic and imagistic riches, where 'silver spoons / in drawers arrange to rattle,' where everything might 'turn the air, its clotted hush, to cream.' I love the imagination at play in these poems, so gothic, so baroque: one that invites 'a hiss of white to slice a dream open,' where 'the baby / builds its own hot cave.'" -Dana Levin "Abigail Cloud's beautiful debut presents us with an enchanting intersection of myth and mortality. These poems give us a bright ballet of demons and compelling universal truths '...clattering over the grass like egg shells.' SYLPH is a book stunningly alive with tonal complexities perfectly suited for an expansive look both into and beyond the most honest, messiest versions of ourselves. In Cloud's sure hands, these poems incite and electrify--even (and especially) when the speaker demands that we never settle, but instead, 'burn the pillow for a pleasant smoke.'" -Aimee Nezhukumatathil "From the first, Abigail Cloud's poems hum and crackle and trouble us with their urgencies. This is a 'starry great night' of a book, a book of 'All the evers / ever imaginable,' a spell of a book, a book that is here to tell us what it knows: 'nerve and bird are the same lesson.'" -Mary Ann Samyn

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