Published by the Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University
Winner of the 1999 Colorado Prize for Poetry
"In this beautiful debut volume, Stephen Burt, in poetic actions that range with unusual ease from prose to sonnets and free verse, explorers the sensation of selfhood as it presents itself, in all its fractured parts, for re-formation. His speaker moves from the longing to 'be someone else'—to rid himself of every version of his own shadow—through a multitude of sensations covered by the notion of 'blasphemy' of soul, where words themselves are a source of anxiety, to slow accommodation (especially powerfully rendered as a capacity for dream and the knowledge dream-logic allows) with the Kafkaesque free-form guilt of personhood. Passionate and deeply accomplished, this is most truly elegant and honest work."
—Jorie Graham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Dream of the Unified Fields: Selected Poems 1974-1994
"In poems that are personal in their distrust of constructions of gendered self, dazzling in their speed of association, and masterful in their orchestration of an insistently ebullient music, Stephen Burt pulls the cork from a new century. Burt's spicy, heuristic mix of high-literary and sub-pop culture requires a new reader. My dear, it is you."
—Forrest Gander, author of Science & Steepleflower