Poet Lore and The Writer’s Center present a FREE virtual chat about the craft of poetry! We’re joined by Bianca Stone to discuss her new poetry collection, What is Otherwise Infinite. Bianca is in conversation with Emily Holland, poet and Editor of Poet Lore, America’s oldest poetry magazine.
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We encourage you to order a copy of the book from your local, independent bookseller or online through Bookshop.org.
Bianca Stone is the author of Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Octopus Books and Tin House, 2014) and Poetry Comics from the Book of Hours (Pleiades Press, 2014). She lives with her husband, the poet Ben Pease, and their daughter, Odette, in Goshen, Vermont.
About the Book
A searching, startling new collection of poems from the author of The Möbius Strip Club of Grief and Someone Else’s Wedding Vows
Written in four sections with incisive and vivid lyrical language, Bianca Stone’s What is Otherwise Infinite considers how we find our place in the world through themes of philosophy, religion, environment, myth, and psychology. “I deal only in the hardest pain-revivers, symbols and tongues,” writes Stone. “I want to tell you only / in the intimacy of our discomfort.”
Populated by Archangels, limping in paradise; by allergies of the soul; the intimacy and danger of motherhood; psychic wounds; and dirty, dirty chocolate layer cake, Stone’s is a collection that deftly examines our inherent and inherited ideas of how to live, and the experience of the Self—which on one hand is so intensely personal, and on the other, universal.
“Poetry and comedy are really the same thing; they both depend on a kind of absolute, if also artfully deployed, vulnerability. There is no better proof of this than What Is Otherwise Infinite by Bianca Stone. These poems are deadly earnest, but there are some serious truths that can only be revealed in a joking tone: ‘There are wildfires / switching course to worry about. / I take my daughter to the lake and watch her feel the tiny waves. / A seagull lifts a sandwich right from my hands.’ On almost every page, these poems take that kind of journey—from fear through tenderness to transcendence in only a few lines. In short lyrics and long poems, Stone unflinchingly faces her depths, finding surprising light in a dark and frightening time. I feel befriended by this generous book, which understands that, in some ways, happiness and sadness are also the same: ‘I have nothing to give but tears, of which one/ is too much and a whole sea/ not enough.’” —Craig Morgan Teicher, author of Welcome to Sonnetville, New Jersey
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