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Salt Pier (Paperback)
  • Salt Pier (Paperback)
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Salt Pier (Paperback)

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£15.95
Paperback 80 Pages / Published: 30/11/2012
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As ultimately, a love story, Salt Pier is structurally perhaps a throwback to an earlier time. All the while trying to find its bearings in the 'natural' world, it follows an initially profoundly-alienated and self-alienated speaker along a developmental arc that begins in childhood and ends in a hypothetical present where a negotiated compromise with history allows him to finally know loving companionship. A reader may find it difficult to categorize this version of emotional closure as either comedy (in the strict sense) or tragedy, if one has to be had at the expense of the other. Perhaps in some ways it shares the spirit of Yeats' tragic gaiety. It is not embarrassed of its relatively straightforward structure any more than it is ashamed of its mostly uncomplicated diction or its occasional, fairly explicit use of meter and rhyme. Although its not afraid of difficulty, it stands against subjectlessness and pointless complexity in contemporary verse. It believes instead that there are too many other calls upon a reader's attention in this busy world to risk verbal superfluity or philosophical flamboyance of any kind. A story of personal liberation and discovery, it shuns empty agendas of theory for the ungovernable mystery of the tale.

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
ISBN: 9780822962175
Number of pages: 80
Weight: 136 g
Dimensions: 216 x 146 x 8 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Dore Kiesselbach's poems reveal the particularity and/or strangeness of the commonplace--but many good poems do that. What strikes me about his, though, are the ways that visual imagery, diction, and cadence are modulated to fit his subjects. Thus in 'Rake' the inanimate object speaks (as in an Anglo-Saxon kenning) to describe the way it touches 'death / that life may be revealed / in green stupidity . . . fluent / as underwater hair.' In 'Hickey, ' a diver swimming among stingrays asks, 'How long does it take us / in water sunlight permeates / to forget needing ever to be told?'; the unusual diction suggests both the speaker's suspension in water as well as his apprehension of joy. The reader may hear faint echoes of Hopkins or the early Dylan Thomas, but the language is Kiesselbach's own."
--Ed Ochester
"Such perfected attention to these nimbly alert, plainspoken poems, which go quiet where many go loud! Encyclopedic, from augers to monarchs to wild turkeys and witch trees, they leave 'hoofprints' on the mind. Kiesselbach keeps his eye ('the predominant poet's organ, ' William Carlos Williams said) on the unfolding, shifting mysteries crisscrossing our tracks, only teaching what he knows, outing speculative imagination; helping us 'to let go.'"
--Stuart Friebert

"Poems often use a single image--meticulously described and most often from nature--as entry point to more profound territory. . . . [Kiesselbach's] language is compressed; sentences compacted by a geologic pressure to remove unnecessary words, leaving only the most apt."

"--Minneapolis Star-Tribun"e


"If 'Salt Pier' is, in part, a study of the irredeemable, it is also an acknowledgement of the earthly redemptions almost slipping out of reach. That touch is possible is the affirmation--a tenderness too resilient to recant."

"--Cloudbank"


"Emotionally direct and visually all alike in column-shaped free verse, the poems in this debut from the Minneapolis-based Kiesselbach open up to show startling verbal skills, intellectual depths, and sensory complications. 'Beach Thanksgiving' wheels from seaside scenes into one, then another, sad memory: 'Fire's an assortment of sparks down the beach/ beside which your new family cooks./ Asked to bear a ring, / you pulled and pulled at your hair.' For an elderly mother, once a gardener, 'Joy's bolted/ in her face to sorrow/ like a pair of shears.' Marital love in the present (Kiesselbach has a particular talent for love poems), what looks like abuse in the past, the cycle of green growing things, the cold of the north, and the warmth of the animal world all inform these investigations of confession and its discontents, of commitments given and withheld, sometimes through stark life story but more often, in a wonderful involution, through symbols contemplated at short remove--in turkeys, for example, whose unlikely dignity rebukes human discontents: 'n fall's/ ballroom they bow/ and straighten, straighten, / bow, and finish/ with a salad course.'
"--Publishers Weekly"
"As the diver beholds 'a moon dissolved in salt, ' so we behold the world transformed in these elegant, rigorous, unsparing poems by Dore Kiesselbach. With the problem-solving logic of syntax, a turkey falls dead from a tree, the duelist's bullet turns a pocket watch to shrapnel, a stepfather works his world of harm. Morally acute and musically distillate, this is a book to celebrate."
--Linda Gregerson

"As the diver beholds 'a moon dissolved in salt, ' so we behold the world transformed in these elegant, rigorous, unsparing poems by Dore Kiesselbach. With the problem-solving logic of syntax, a turkey falls dead from a tree, the duelist's bullet turns a pocket watch to shrapnel, a stepfather works his world of harm. Morally acute and musically distillate, this is a book to celebrate."
--Linda Gregerson


"I have followed, with pleasure, Dore Kiesselbach's sinuous poems for several years. Some of them remind me of pythons wrapped around a tree limb above a riverbank. Those make me nervous. Others remind me of a favorite shirt, a shirt one will never relinquish, never. His poems, each one a tiny defibrillator, are a wonder."
--Thomas Lux



"Dore Kiesselbach's poems reveal the particularity and/or strangeness of the commonplace--but many good poems do that. What strikes me about his, though, are the ways that visual imagery, diction, and cadence are modulated to fit his subjects. Thus in 'Rake' the inanimate object speaks (as in an Anglo-Saxon kenning) to describe the way it touches 'death / that life may be revealed / in green stupidity . . . fluent / as underwater hair.' In 'Hickey, ' a diver swimming among stingrays asks, 'How long does it take us / in water sunlight permeates / to forget needing ever to be told?'; the unusual diction suggests both the speaker's suspension in water as well as his apprehension of joy. The reader may hear faint echoes of Hopkins or the early Dylan Thomas, but the language is Kiesselbach's own."
--Ed Ochester


Poems often use a single image meticulously described and most often from nature as entry point to more profound territory. . . . [Kiesselbach's] language is compressed; sentences compacted by a geologic pressure to remove unnecessary words, leaving only the most apt.

" Minneapolis Star-Tribun"e"


If Salt Pier is, in part, a study of the irredeemable, it is also an acknowledgement of the earthly redemptions almost slipping out of reach. That touch is possible is the affirmation a tenderness too resilient to recant.

" Cloudbank""


[F]ascinating .Kiesselbach is capable of bringing dark comedy into his investigations of the everyday .His knowingly cliched treatment of otherwise neglected subjects, on the other hand, reinforces suspicions about the effect of presentation and the importance of engaging critically with the familiar.
" Manchester Review""


Dore Kiesselbach s poems reveal the particularity and/or strangeness of the commonplace but many good poems do that. What strikes me about his, though, are the ways that visual imagery, diction, and cadence are modulated to fit his subjects. Thus in Rake the inanimate object speaks (as in an Anglo-Saxon kenning) to describe the way it touches death / that life may be revealed / in green stupidity . . . fluent / as underwater hair. In Hickey, a diver swimming among stingrays asks, How long does it take us / in water sunlight permeates / to forget needing ever to be told?; the unusual diction suggests both the speaker s suspension in water as well as his apprehension of joy. The reader may hear faint echoes of Hopkins or the early Dylan Thomas, but the language is Kiesselbach s own.
Ed Ochester"


As the diver beholds a moon dissolved in salt, so we behold the world transformed in these elegant, rigorous, unsparing poems by Dore Kiesselbach. With the problem-solving logic of syntax, a turkey falls dead from a tree, the duelist s bullet turns a pocket watch to shrapnel, a stepfather works his world of harm. Morally acute and musically distillate, this is a book to celebrate.
Linda Gregerson"


I have followed, with pleasure, Dore Kiesselbach s sinuous poems for several years. Some of them remind me of pythons wrapped around a tree limb above a riverbank. Those make me nervous. Others remind me of a favorite shirt, a shirt one will never relinquish, never. His poems, each one a tiny defibrillator, are a wonder.
Thomas Lux"
"There is a precision of phrasing and observation in Dore Kiesselbach's poems, a sense of syntax, syllable, and detail (as in Marianne Moore) as a single sinuous creation."--Antioch Review
[Kiesselbach's] an opera singer who holds a note without becoming breathless. Kiesselbach has a stunning way to make the poetic phrase change meaning, and make better each line before and after. A trope that depends on synchronicity is not achieved/arranged by accident. His poetry is filled with green growing things, animals, nature's observances--and because of line lengths--a constant tension."
--Washington Independent Review of Books

"Poems often use a single image--meticulously described and most often from nature--as entry point to more profound territory. . . . [Kiesselbach's] language is compressed; sentences compacted by a geologic pressure to remove unnecessary words, leaving only the most apt."

--Minneapolis Star-Tribune


"If 'Salt Pier' is, in part, a study of the irredeemable, it is also an acknowledgement of the earthly redemptions almost slipping out of reach. That touch is possible is the affirmation--a tenderness too resilient to recant."

--Cloudbank


"[F]ascinating....Kiesselbach is...capable of bringing dark comedy into his investigations of the everyday....His knowingly cliched treatment of otherwise neglected subjects, on the other hand, reinforces suspicions about the effect of presentation and the importance of engaging critically with the familiar."
--Manchester Review


"Dore Kiesselbach's poems reveal the particularity and/or strangeness of the commonplace--but many good poems do that. What strikes me about his, though, are the ways that visual imagery, diction, and cadence are modulated to fit his subjects. Thus in 'Rake' the inanimate object speaks (as in an Anglo-Saxon kenning) to describe the way it touches 'death / that life may be revealed / in green stupidity . . . fluent / as underwater hair.' In 'Hickey, ' a diver swimming among stingrays asks, 'How long does it take us / in water sunlight permeates / to forget needing ever to be told?'; the unusual diction suggests both the speaker's suspension in water as well as his apprehension of joy. The reader may hear faint echoes of Hopkins or the early Dylan Thomas, but the language is Kiesselbach's own."
--Ed Ochester


"As the diver beholds 'a moon dissolved in salt, ' so we behold the world transformed in these elegant, rigorous, unsparing poems by Dore Kiesselbach. With the problem-solving logic of syntax, a turkey falls dead from a tree, the duelist's bullet turns a pocket watch to shrapnel, a stepfather works his world of harm. Morally acute and musically distillate, this is a book to celebrate."
--Linda Gregerson


"I have followed, with pleasure, Dore Kiesselbach's sinuous poems for several years. Some of them remind me of pythons wrapped around a tree limb above a riverbank. Those make me nervous. Others remind me of a favorite shirt, a shirt one will never relinquish, never. His poems, each one a tiny defibrillator, are a wonder."
--Thomas Lux

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