Sarah Bokich’s collection Rocking Chair at the End of the World invites the reader to share an imperative and deeply human journey to the nebulous intersection of bereavement and renewal. In poems such as “The Visitors” and “Trading the Animals,” Bokich adopts the personas of a lover, a zookeeper, an infant, and a young mother to study the different ways we find ourselves suspended—between successive phases of life, between dreams and reality, and between the natural and developed worlds. Tender, fierce, and irreverent in turn, Bokich explores our human appetites and frailties in a debut collection that former Oregon Poet Laureate Peter Sears describes as “devastating” and writer and critic David Biespiel praises as exhibiting “a virtuosity of solemn joy.” With a unique blend of lyricism and violence that echoes the work of Sylvia Plath, Bokich struggles to ascertain her roles as a woman and mother, while pursuing a central question: how best to love each other in this world and the next.
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praise for rocking chair at the end of the world:
“In her poetry collection, Rocking Chair at the End of the World, Sarah Bokich is a poignant poet writing sacred work about the complexities and comforts of family. Whether she assumes the voice of an abandoned daughter, a careful new mother, or a grieving woman, Bokich has a nimble poet’s eye that views both the terrible and the tender in her writing with clarity. In these poems, you will discover many fine narrative moments teeming with Sarah’s quiet celebrations, her intimate pains, and her heart’s welling courage to constantly forgive. This is a chapbook to cherish.” —Tammy Robacker, author of Villain Songs
“Sarah Bokich’s poetry is attentive to the world as it emerges before our eyes. She blends the ecstatic with the elegiac, examining what she is able to understand and measure of life, birth, love, and death. These poems have a virtuosity of solemn joy. They illuminate what is rooted in the heart.” —David Biespiel, author of A Long High Whistle: Selected Columns on Poetry
“Now you can read Sarah Bokich’s ‘Bread,’ the devastating ‘Trading the Animals,’ the eerie ‘Visitors,’ and the elegy ‘Gods and Fathers’ in her first book, Rocking Chair at the End of the World.” —Peter Sears, Oregon Poet Laureate 2014-2016