Author: Elisa Karbin
Publisher: Finishing Line Press (2018)
"From the first word of Elisa Karbin’s churning collection Snare, she engages in the most visceral form of “revision”: return to a scene of trauma. Poems descend to 'the soot-tinged engine-room / of memory’s looming furnace,' tearing again and again into 'a wound cauled by crow-call.' The beauty of a pier stretching toward sunset reveals itself to be bait for a trap, the snare set one night long ago by a 'black-breath man' who changed her life. In Snare, the speaker stares down the mirror, seeing in her own body the haunting past and blank, unspoken future. She confronts, declares that 'I want to remember / what I do not want to recall.' Karbin’s work conjures the ghosts of our trauma and demands their unflinching confessions. At book’s end, another revision: a 'gray fog' over her eyes, a way to see again and again the relentless, undying 'black moments,' that 'swim / in the pit of me.' Brutal, beautiful, ambivalent, unyielding, and gorgeously crafted, Snare is a vital collection."
"In this extraordinary collection, Elisa Karbin tackles the violence of sexual assault with intensely lyrical language. Her mastery of the poetic line, and her deliberate fracturing of it, enables readers to experience at a visceral level the aftermath of the speaker’s suffering. The poet gazes directly at “the soot-rubbed window of trauma’s cut—this clean psychic gash—'and we find ourselves are unable to look away. Certain words and images reappear, as she tries to make sense of the insensible. When the speaker asks 'Is this / coming through in the transmission?,' the answer is a resounding yes. Snare introduces a brilliant and necessary voice in contemporary poetry, and I look forward to reading more of Karbin’s unblinking yet beautiful verse."