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Autobiography of Envelopes

Sarah Riggs

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Burning Deck
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Poetry. Begun in the turmoil of moving house, these poems were jotted on envelopes because that was the form of paper on hand. But there was more to this choice. Oscillating between the US, France and Morocco, living on three continents and in three languages, Sarah Riggs felt the need to address her own self in order not to disperse into alternatives. But how do we address ourselves? the book asks. How many selves do we have? How do we sort what we think from what has been thought for us? Is it that our language cannot follow the mind's rich, fluctuating process or does language outrun what the mind can seize? So that we are caught between two excesses, two ineffables?

"In these brief, crisp and thought-provoking stanzas, Sarah Riggs investigates notions of address and possibilities of correspondences. The poems turn to and around, tango with written and other characters...and ask about the nature of character. They are highly observant and finely tuned time pieces, with poetry's insistent concerns of number, counting, what counts and what it may mean to count. This work offers so many tantalizing, illuminated options and questions as to continuity and duration. Here, instant after instant, at once stunning and muted, mutably, 'The poem addresses itself. We open, listen, magnify.'" Stacy Doris"