by Patricia Killelea
ISBN: 978-1-988214-24-5 (paperback)
Page Count: 82 pages
Release Date: December 2019
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Borrowing its title from astronomy, the "counterglow" is a faint light in the night sky that appears directly opposite the sun. Made up of interplanetary dust, this glow is difficult to detect unless one observes from a place without light. Patricia Killelea's lyric poems speak from this darkness as she seeks a language of redemption— some kind of brightness to cling to, however faint. Spanning terrains of spiritual and literal hunger, where ecological and personal crisis intertwine, this collection is an unwavering affirmation of the power of words in the face of wordlessness.
Patricia Killelea (Xicana/Irish American) is the author of Other Suns (Swan Scythe Press, 2011). Originally from the Bay Area, California, she is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Northern Michigan University. She holds a Ph.D. in Native American Studies (2015) and an M.A. in Creative Writing (2008) from the University of California, Davis. She is poetry editor for the literary journal Passages North.
Certainly this is a literature of the spirit, yet very much grounded in and made out of what Jean Valentine called this-world. There's no palliative comforting; rather it is the hard work of living that these poems sound out, the hard work of love they enjoin. We need this book. I need this book.
- Kazim Ali, author of Inquisition: New Poems (Wesleyan University Press 2018), Silver Road: Essays, Maps and Calligraphies (Tupelo Press 2018), and Sky Ward (Wesleyan University Press 2013).
In Counterglow, Patricia Killelea confronts the ghosts that inhabit the unlit interior landscape of longing. Like Rilke she strikes the dark air for music. Of a mixed heritage (Xicana and Irish), she is intimately connected to the land, sky and water as well as all beings who inhabit them. I am completely taken by lines like When I look through a bullet hole in a crow's wing I see everything. Counterglow is a gem.
- Pamela Uschuk, Editor-In-Chief, Cutthroat, A Journal of the Arts, author of Crazy Love (Wings Press 2009), winner of the American Book Award.
The way buried bones remain but still point longingly toward each other, Counterglow is a glimpse into the dark stretched between histories. Every small existence becomes an echoed reason to live... Counterglow stands as a candle burns through the night, waiting for that familiar "taste in the air," trying to outlast the shared paths dark & light make of each other, until they finally ignite.
- Michael Wasson, This American Ghost (YesYes 2017), 2018 NACF National Artist Fellow in Literature