Manuscript AssessmentFish Bones

DC Books

15 April 2009

80 pages

poetry

In Fish Bones Gillian Sze takes a random walk through the art museum and finds the drama of life framed in a series precisely rendered and moving artefact poems. Working from Jeanette Winterson’s idea of a ‘constant exchange of emotion’ between the artist, the painting, and the writer, Sze’s ekphrastic verse is unrelenting in its commitment to action, so that each poem sparked by a picture comes to follow its own impetus, the origin of which is always a deeply felt encounter, whether familial, erotic, or strange. Vacillating deftly between the suspended space-time of a museum exhibit and the charged urgency of the lives she imagines via the art she describes, the result is a collection at once stirring and arresting, tender and coolly true.