In stock

ISBN: 978-1-62557-805-1
Categories Poetry


Publication Date: February 2018


Tender, elegiac, searing—Maureen Seaton’s new collection is all of these and more. With virtuosic skill and precision, she casts line after quicksilver line to create a moving, prismatic portrait of a suicide. Along the way, we get dazzling meditations on rivers, fly fishing, wilderness, sex, violence, and death. Yet despite the dark subject matter, Fisher, to quote one of its poems, is a book “whose pages are aflame with life.”

—Ellen Bass

“In every myth, there is a secret,” Maureen Seaton writes, leaning close to our ear, almost whispering, almost our co-conspirator in a plot to re-imagine the world. Here is Fisher, the kind of book that doesn’t try to detect or dispel the secret as much as revel in it. Fisher is full of poems that reject history’s simple resolution and turn to the complex imagination that operates “like an aura,/ keeping me safer than I ever thought I had the right to be.” At the heart of Fisher is an elegy for a beloved friend and one-time lover who commits suicide. Seaton creates a mythic space in these poems, where “the further you get from real, the more I like you.” Perhaps because death de-arranges us, the Quixotic magnetizes the speaker: “This is where tumult, this is where prophecy. / This is where the poem repents of language….the way a life lived calls on us to praise it.” Instead of the resolution, we have the beauty of inquiry, which is itself the best kind of praise. In Fisher, Seaton wraps us in the aura of the unresolved, which is to say, the pulsing heartbeat of the imagination, where “Nothing stays killed….” And yes, this is a dark book. And yes, it has the power to save.

—James Allen Hall

Maureen Seaton recasts the line again and again into her memories of a togetherness that was fearless and free, “gauntly sexual beside the Hudson.” Each time, lots of tug in that hard-running river. The waters of Fisher are Heraclitean, and keep turning with each rediscovery: now the realm may be careless youth, apparently suspended; now, sleep where everything is reconstituted, including grief; now, a blurry image of present survival, from “the cool dim in the decade of your suicide.” Strong, swift, glinting, deep, this book delivers the mystery in its elegy, then keeps coursing.

—Brian Blanchfield

About the Author

© Margaret Rogers

Maureen Seaton

Maureen Seaton has authored nineteen poetry collections, both solo and collaborative—most recently, Caprice: Collected, Uncollected, and New Collaborations (with Denise Duhamel, Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). Her awards include the Iowa Poetry Prize and Lambda Literary Award (both for Furious Cooking (U. of Iowa Press, 1996)), the Audre Lorde Award (for Venus Examines Her Breast (Carnegie Mellon UP, 2004)), an NEA fellowship, and two Pushcart Prizes. Her memoir, Sex Talks to Girls (U. of Wisconsin Press, 2008), also garnered a “Lammy.” Seaton is Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Miami, Florida.

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