Sarah—Of Fragments and Lines (Coffee House Press) | 2010
A National Poetry Series winner, chosen by Eileen Myles
In the wake of a mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s and a child’s impending birth, Julie Carr gathers the shards of both mourning and joy to give readers poems that encompass it all: “Zebra and xylophone cyclone and sorrow.” Here she says, “Since I lost her I stored her like ore in my / form as if later I’d find her, restore her,” giving voice to the longing that accompanies life’s most profound losses and its most anticipated arrivals.
“As a reader I feel included a lot in Julie Carr’s hard and beautiful book. I can pretty much hear its author speak—a whispering that enables us into its world . . . a masterfully sutured journey, painfully useful. Sarah—Of Fragments and Lines is a book I know I will return to. And urge it on my friends who have lives too and write in them.”
Eileen Myles, National Poetry Series judge
“Julie Carr’s harrowing new book is composed of a complex music of grief and fragmentation that illuminates the fragile distance between mothers and daughters. To read Sarah—Of Fragments and Lines is to recall once again that memory might just be the singular attribute of being human and that there can be no poetics of daily life that does not confront loss. Such is the domain of love; such is the vocation of poetry.”
“As Carr shuttles among her triple roles as mother, daughter, writer, individual words and phonemes shuttle back and forth like classical melodies.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)