$16.95 paperback (9780899241449)
hardcover not available
Published: July 2015
80 pages, 6 x 8.5 in.
Purchase from our Distributor
Within the framework of history, both personal and international, in The Only Afterlife Mariève Rugo examines memory, love, family, war, and dying. In the end she finds, through the poems, ways to accept and celebrate her life.
Mariève Rugo was born in Bucharest, Romania, and arrived at adulthood in New York by way of four other countries, four languages, and seven parents. She graduated from Radcliffe College and later took a graduate degree at Brown, where she also taught for several years. Her first book, Fields of Vision, won the Alabama Prize. Her work has also appeared in Chelsea, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, and many other journals. She lives in Boston.
The Only Afterlife was a finalist for the 2014 Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry.
Taking as their subject the ‘bitter wisdoms’ learned in a childhood marked by war, exile, and family strife, Mariève Rugo’s poems reveal the courage of survival and memory. In her new volume, The Only Afterlife, we see how Rugo’s nuanced language is attentive to unexpected beauties – a skein of Canada geese ‘unwinding through sapphire air,’ her mother swimming naked in a ‘flat turquoise bay . . . bronze fish spattering diamonds,’ ‘the grammar of buds’ in springtime. Giving voice to ‘the unspeakable’ burdens of knowledge, Rugo explores the ‘invisible boundaries’ of love and despair, wisdom and illusion. These are poems of a life lived fully in the candid awareness of how loss opens a space for gratitude. -Susan Snively