(CREATURE SOUNDS FADE)
Author: Shanna Compton
Publisher: Black Lawrence Press (2020)
"This collection is, from the get-go, parenthetical, by which I mean layered horizontally in voice, architecture, inflection, and sound--the sound of the ever-fading world, and the soundtrack of the human interior. The tone is a shimmering dread with a backbeat of wonder, and the reigning approach to the line is the caesura––gaps, silence, and redactions. Everything teeters, transmogrifies; even the speaker's dress shifts from 'delicate bushbean pink' to 'tufted crest titmouse gray' and then into something like song: 'My dress my dress / o mess of shabbiness...' Shanna Compton has managed to write poems that are utterly of the moment––'Oh vomitous intimacy!'––while harkening back to archetype, to the timeless strangeness of the natural world, imagination's source: 'the river / the gold-green blur of trees,' steadying, sweet, a 'clear rivulet of water across the sandy waste.' This collection met my thirst right where it lives. 'Fellow navigators,' I urge you to read it."
"Poems in (CREATURE SOUNDS FADE) slip through cracks into other worlds a little unfamiliar and they insist on the urgency of making what is unfamiliar familiar. You have to see how these poems sound in your head. As private and public exchange places with one another, we're let in to Compton's poems, we're invited to provide the variable."
"Shanna Compton's poems turn corners you wouldn't know were there if she weren't listening for them, locating them in order to give them away, listening to what's there and what's left out. Her astonishing feel, sound by sound, for shapeliness sprung from the edges and detail of lived experience, and her intense commitment to deep listening, are antidotes for and tough pushback against the constant threat of total immobility we all face every day."