We Ran Rapturous, by Shannon Sankey

We Ran Rapturous, by Shannon Sankey

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Shannon Sankey’s We Ran Rapturous sheds light on the beauty and terror of disability. The despair and solipsism of illness offers us a kaleidoscopic vision into Sankey’s imagination, employing crystal clear lyric art to bring us to the brink of the body and its ramshackle landscapes. She tells us, “Here, my work was tenderness,” as she undertakes a life of nourishment, care, and re-vision for herself, for her mother. So much of her work was and remains tenderness. Her illness renders her a “body of extremes” and she talks to it, its limits and what these limits give her back in life, the wanting of it. This powerful collection of poems combines the love and devotion of a daughter and the commitment to reimagine disease not simply as an affliction, but as “a crooked kind of flowering.”

This chapbook is as gorgeous and it is important. But don’t just take our word for it. Author ofThe Apollonia Poems, Judith Vollmer has this to say:

As if arrived from a far world where deep wisdom resides, We Ran Rapturous mesmerizes and intoxicates. Sankey’s intimate voice ushers us to an open window, with fresh eyes to look out, onto shifting home-places, psychological interiors, and a hyper-alert consciousness that both embraces and disavows disability. “I grind it to a fragrant talc/between my teeth, my morning vitamin.” In that act of transformation the poet declares, “I release the divination.” Flights of mind, spells, healing, and meditations collide with the quotidian: “stale curls,” “freesia oil,” “fever of fried chicken,” and “sacks/of coffee beans and hanging scarves.” Sankey’s embrace of the surreal occurs “where long white porches/stay warm as ripe oranges” and where the speaker, in thrall of and captive to her own body, prays for “Anything for the throb/of hanging down,/of swinging stupidly at the hips.” There’s more. Sankey’s taut lyrics and shapely prose pieces create one of the most unusual braidings of the Persephone/Demeter story I have read.  Sprung from the ancient and captive in the present, daughter and mother run on desire; reckless, joyous, and in fleeting largesse.  Sankey’s double-portrait inhabits the tender soul-space she sings from in this remarkable debut. 

Preorder your copy now and enjoy $3 off your purchase. Ships in mid-September.

Cover art by Mak Hepler-Gonzalez and Hannah Landesberg