Bird Lovers, Backyard

In this genre-blending collection, Field draws on dialogue, online posts, lists, reportage, and historical documents as narrative devices. As with other projects in Field's oeuvre, the reader encountering this work must adjust his or her typical lens and, at times, upend completely any preconceived notions of storytelling and story material. Field, however, rewards or, perhaps more accurately, mirrors the reader's necessary dedication with determined engagement—as Anne Waldman writes, a "curiosity and probe [that] are infectious, tantalizing, irrepressible." In the section "/Things/" from the long poem "Parting," Field writes:

         Up in the condos, a cultural deadpan. A thing is not real, they say, until it is apprehended, another word for arrested, another word for stopped. But there is no such seawall holding the limit of motion. The girl, the story, changes; they say, you 'have' changed or 'have' learned; lasting possessions.

This book review originally appeared in American Poets, fall 2010, issue 39.