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Elegy Owed

ISBN: 9781556594366
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publication Date: 2013-04-09
Number of pages: 120
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  • Regular price $20.65

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National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.

Paterson Award for Literary Excellence.

"What Hicok's getting at [in Elegy Owed] is both the necessity and the inadequacy of language, the very bluntness of which (talk about a paradox) makes it all the more essential that we engage with it as a precision instrument, a force of clarity, of (at times) awful grace."—Los Angeles Times

"[A] fluid, absorbing new collection. . . . Highly recommended."—Library Journal, starred review

When asked in an interview "What would Bob Hicok launch from a giant sling shot?" he answered "Bob Hicok." Elegy Owed—Hicok's eighth book—is an existential game of Twister in which the rules of mourning are broken and salvaged, and "you can never step into the same not going home again twice."

From "Notes for a time capsule":

The twig in. I'll put the twig in I carry in my pocket
and my pocket and my eye, my left eye. A cup
of the Ganges and the bacteria from shit
in the Ganges and the anyway ablutions of rainbow-
robed Hindus in the Ganges. The dawnline of the mountain
with contrail above like an accent in a language
too large for my mouth. A mirror
so whoever opens the past will see themselves
in the past and fall back from their face
speaking to them across centuries or hours
or the nearnevers . . .

Bob Hicok's worked as an automotive die designer and a computer system administrator before becoming an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech. He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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