New & Selected Poems

Forthcoming from Nightboat Books, October 2019. PRE-ORDER HERE or AMAZON.

A selection of poems by celebrated poet Gillian Conoley that spans her arresting body of work

A Little More Red Sun on the Human: New and Selected Poems forms a completely new trajectory through decades of poetic work, including three collections previously out of print. In a career that began by chronicling the idiosyncrasies of Texas girlhood, Conoley’s work spirals outward toward an inquiry into spirit and matter, the relation between the individual and the state. Throughout, one can trace Conoley’s obsessions and concerns: democracy, metaphysics, motherhood, gender and race, futurity and history. Conoley’s new work posits an inquiry into the coming shifts of human consciousness and perception as she imagines the next world––flush with artificial intelligence, an ever-arriving, shape-shifting technology––and the possible communities we may yet forge between human life and a compromised planet.

“Conoley’s poems have a singular energy like an organ solo or a shotgun resorting to storytelling. She adds tool handles to our histories; a set list for our waking souls. And an instrument of self-reflection that a landscape might ponder itself with. On her page, our natures get away with nothing. All cradled by a ruthlessly loving dance of language; in her poems we meet our twins.” ––Tongo Eisen-Martin

Are we allowed to enjoy poetry this much? These poems are so pleasurable it’s nearly felonious. Their narratives point to both the ordinary and the deepest dream-real in the saturated colors of fairy tales. They remind me to watch the way a mail carrier walks or what it feels like to be lost in language’s musical woods — meaning, they are alive to life, and that living is infectious. “Do you feel a light in the sun/on your back piercing through the water, it’s a light said the said said the I.” Bask in that. 

—Eleni Sikleanos

“Nimble, inquisitive and intelligently elegant, the poems in this much anticipated volume reorient phenomena to make meaning with it: personal, inviting, knowing, and necessary. The range of Gillian Conoley’s attention is a marvel.”––Hoa Nguyen

 Praise for Gillian Conoley

“Here we find the peculiarly American matter-of-factness of the small town exotic coming face-to-face with intellectual high-brow energy. Carson McCullers meets Gertrude Stein. Perhaps Jane Bowles is an appropriate comparison.”––The Antioch Review

“Masterfully composed in the hot spaces and so rhythmic sounds Americans have put to their times. ‘Like gold into scar/ a twister in the skull.’”––Alice Notley