Alyse Knorr / Annotated Glass
80 pages / 978-1-940092-01-0 / 6″ x 9″
Read a sample here.
Inside every intimate relationship, Alyse Knorr argues, lies a land of the imagination known only to those in relation. Her beautiful and wise Annotated Glass follows its protagonist, Alice, into and out of lands invented in childhood and adolescence, between family members and lovers, uncovering in each situation and between each of its characters “a network of nerves speaking each to each.” The beauty of Knorr’s writing lives in these electric connections, the way Alice’s desire for her lover Jenny runs—a “current on my tongue like the inside/of a star.” But the wisdom of Annotated Glass lies in its ability to describe the loss not only of family and lovers but also the imaginative landscapes that remain behind when they do. Knorr captures each elegiac departure with images of startling clarity and ambient texture: “ yellow tractors mowing/fields of sunflowers whose faces/have turned black.” This is a first book of rare real power and insight.
—Brian Teare, author of Companion Grasses
Alyse Knorr’s debut collection, Annotated Glass, takes us on an adventure, a foray into the bewilderland of love and grief. But Annotated Glass is not a gloss on Through the Looking Glass and Knorr’s Alice is no buttoned-up and pinafored Victorian child. Illumined everywhere with intelligence, emotional complexity, and deep compassion for its characters, this masterfully interwoven sequence unfurls. Composed of brief graceful lyrics—some erotic, some funny, some astonished by happiness and good fortune, some interfused with wistful sadness—a narrative develops. Knorr creates compelling and complex characters startled to find what they thought was ordinary life suddenly turned inside-out and backwards.
—Jennifer Atkinson, author of Canticle of the Night Path
Annotated Glass is a marvel of a book. All the loves that Knorr details are handholds of a desiring heart. You could say that desire rules here—stronger than loss, though loss is the bright thread throughout. If the brain had a solar plexus, that is where Knorr would take you with these poems. What a talent!!
—Eloise Klein Healy, Poet Laureate of The City of Los Angeles