Jen Currin’s acclaimed debut collection, The Sleep of Four Cities, announced the arrival of a fully formed, arresting new talent, and the poems in her new collection, Hagiography, see her trademark wordplay and entirely contemporary take on the surrealist image moving into new territory. These poems push life’s barely hidden strangeness into the light, and present thought as a bright, emotionally complex event. In Hagiography, mind and sense and the world they move through are interwoven to create a mysterious, familiar, vexing and continuously fascinating human drama.
There are no saints in Hagiography, but there are many curious characters looking for spiritual truth. Hagiography is populated by seekers: ghosts, spiders, sisters, pilgrims, children, tigers, therapists, witches, grandfathers and birds. Hagiography starts with death and ends with birth. In between, life after life.
‘Hagiography is a delight for the reader’s heart and mind – hagios, meaning sacred, plus graphein, to write. One lovely poem after another guides us through what holds us like a light.’ – Robin Blaser
‘Currin’s language is not so much surreal as it is devoted to the strangeness of what really happens to bodies and selves in the world ... this book is a conversionnarrative ... it is a story of how we believe language can change and how we believe change can speak.’
– Aaron McCollough, author of Little Ease and Double Venus