Author: Paige Lewis
Publisher: Sarabande Books (2019)
Consider this glowing debut from Paige Lewis a menagerie of near-extinction. Space Struck explores the wonders and cruelties occurring within the realms of nature, science, and religion, with the acuity of a sage, the deftness of a hunter, and a hilarious sensibility for the absurd. The universe is seen as an endless arrow “. . . and it asks only one question: How dare you?”
The poems are physically and psychologically tied to the animal world, replete with ivory-billed woodpeckers, pelicans, and constellations-as-organisms. They are also devastatingly human, anchored in emotion and self-awareness, like art framed in a glass that also holds one’s reflection. Silky and gruesome, the poems of Space Struck pulse like starlight.
“If you are holding this book, know that you are holding a work of wild and tender imagination. You are holding distance and saints and orchards and mouths. You are holding the full-length debut of Paige Lewis, a gifted poet whose words bring the light of elsewhere to this planet. I have been holding my breath for this book; now it, with loving strangeness, is holding mine.”
“I don’t have faith in much these days, but I do have immense belief in Paige Lewis, in the spaces they create (and deliciously destroy) inside each marvelous poem, ‘where we all fit.’ Lyn Hejinian writes, ‘The mouth is just a body filled with imagination . . .’ and this collection is a master class on the prosody of repletion. Lewis revels in cerebral delight despite the rigid contours of anxiety, creeping at each poem’s periphery. By the end of the book we are looking up, not at the stars, but at Lewis—shining with a planetary pull. Space Struck is a wondrous arrival.”