"A heady, infectious celebration."-The New Yorker
"Shaughnessy's voice is smart, sexy, self-aware, hip . . . consistently wry, and ever savvy."-Harvard Review
Brenda Shaughnessy's heartrending third collection explores dark subjects-trauma, childbirth, loss of faith-and stark questions: What is the use of pain and grief? Is there another dimension in which our suffering might be transformed? Can we change ourselves? Yearning for new gods, new worlds, and new rules, she imagines a parallel existence in the galaxy of Andromeda.
From "Our Andromeda":
Cal, faster than the lightest light,
so much faster than love,
and our Andromeda, that dream,
I can feel it living in us like we
are its home. Like it remembers us
from its own childhood.
Oh, maybe, Cal, we are home,
if God will let us live here,
with Andromeda inside us,
*doesn't it seem we belong?
Now and then, will you help me belong
here, in this place where you became*
my child, and I your mother
out of some instant of mystery
of crash and matter . . .
Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa, Japan and grew up in Southern California. She is the author of Human Dark with Sugar (Copper Canyon Press, 2008), winner of the James Laughlin Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Interior with Sudden Joy (FSG, 1999). Shaughnessy’s poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Harper's, The Nation, The Rumpus, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University, Newark, and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son and daughter.