By Caroline Knox
Publication Date: April 02, 2019
In Hear Trains, Caroline Knox seeks further contexts for her striking diction and syntax to establish new forms of understanding. With her signature wit and erudition, she plumbs the depths of etymology, reading, art, and nature, of comma splices, cyanotypes, cupboards, and poppits, lashing together the unlikeliest subjects by the very language they have always shared and delighting readers with a real world made startlingly new, fulsomely re-enriched.
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The most striking thing about Caroline Knox’s latest poetry collection, Hear Trains, is the way it savors and explores the nuances of language. Composed in a way that is reminiscent of eighteenth-century commonplace books, where information, quotations, and random facts were stored for the writer to revisit later, Hear Trains invites readers into a love affair with words.
Lindsey Weishar, Ploughshares
I recently had the realization that most days, I spend at least ten hours with my eyes on a screen. This doesn’t feel so dire when it’s winter in Montana, but when the days get longer and the hills turn green, it’s hard not to be aware of it as seasonally inappropriate behavior. Caroline Knox’s latest collection is a buzzing antidote for that kind of technology fatigue. These poems are sonically rich, concerned with wildflowers and weeds, corporate power structures and fields and osso buco, blogs, blobs, and the sea. Knox stretches etymology, interrogates the impulse to render experience an allegory, and considers the nature of syntax and connection with startling clarity: 'We heard / one another exactly.'
Submishmash Staff Pick
Caroline Knox's most recent publications are Hear Trains (Wave Books, 2019), To Drink Boiled Snow (Wave Books, 2015), Nine Worthies (Wave Books, 2010), and Flemish (Wave Books, 2013). Quaker Guns (Wave Books, 2008) received a Recommended Reading Award 2009 from the Massachusetts Center for the Book. He Paves the Road with Iron Bars, published by Verse Press in 2004, won the Maurice English Award 2005 for a book by a poet over 50. A Beaker: New and Selected Poems appeared from Verse Press in 2002. Her previous books are The House Party and To Newfoundland (Georgia 1984, 1989), and Sleepers Wake (Timken 1994).
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