In Gillian Conoley’s new collection, the four poems, “Preparing One’s Consciousness for the Avatar,” “Recipe for the Avatar,” “The Right to Be Forgotten” and “Life on Earth,” challenge language to meet its utopian obligations, and to overcome those all too familiar pragmatic expectations that have come to infect our imaginations. Conoley’s poetic vision, as radical as any today, insists upon nothing less than astonishment: “Jay a cobalt flash in the honeysuckle its head already gone (beyond itself).” Two collages by Courtney Gregg highlight the volume.
Gillian Conoley was born in Austin, Texas and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she has lived for more than twenty years. She is the author of eight books of poetry, including Peace (2014), The Plot Genie (2009) and Profane Halo (2005), as well as being the editor of the poetry magazine VOLT. Conoley was the 2017 winner of the Poetry Society of America’s prestigious Shelley Memorial Award.