Loom

Front Cover
Omnidawn Publishing, 2013 - Poetry - 82 pages
The word loom calls us to the edges, perhaps even limits, of life--to what appears as the space and means of creation--and to what appears on that horizon, soliciting reflection and response. In Sarah Gridley's third collection of poems, the word serves as emblem and omen, as signal object of meditation. At the loom--and looming--is The Lady of Shalott--poetic specter of Tennyson's surfaced--and silenced--anima. Trusting in the deep ambiguities of text and textile, spirit and matter, masculine and feminine, Loom calls the Lady back to life, out of isolation, circumscription, and distraction. A book of poems set against the work of disconnection, Loom searches for reconstructions of gender, dwelling, and the sacred.

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Sarah Gridley's language in "Loom" weaves its magic with a covert wondrous quality. She draws
us into the world of the Lady..."She has woven us in descriptionless dark..."
is the kind of lure she
creates. Gridley gives us a bit of herself, "...one's craft derived from apprehension, the getting hold of something physical or mental, through a motion both glacial and
elusive." Wallace Stevens would be proud of her understanding of the relationship...inner and
outer. We are brought into a new look at the Lady of Shalott...The lyricism, the romance are here,
but given as "Report: intelligence. Report: explosion." The spirit is fed, the heart satisfied, the mind
well met. The very inconclusiveness is the essential reward.
Peggy Aylsworth
 

About the author (2013)

SARAH GRIDLEY is the author of two previous books of poetry: Weather Eye Open and Green is the Orator, both from the University of California Press. Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1968, she received a BA in English, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1990. She wrote her senior honors thesis on Dylan Thomas, a poet introduced to her by her father, who grew up outside of Cardiff, Wales. At Harvard, Professors Marjorie Garber and Helen Vendler reinforced her love for poetry and her interest in teaching. After a year working on a vegetable produce farm in Sagaponack, NY, and living and working in Greece, Gridley completed an MAT in English at Tufts University in conjunction with the Shady Hill School Teacher Training Course in Cambridge, MA. She went on to teach high school English at the Hopkins School in New Haven, CT. She then moved to Boston, MA, where she worked as Director of Program and Publicity for The Ford Hall Forum, a public lecture series dedicated to upholding First Amendment rights and encouraging civil debate. in 1998, Gridley pursued an MFA in poetry from the University of Montana, where she studied with poets Patricia Goedicke, Joanna Klink, and Greg Pape. After receiving her degree in 2000, Gridley moved to midcoast Maine, where she lived and worked for six years. In the fall of 2006, she returned to her native city of Cleveland for a visiting lecturer position in the English department at Case Western Reserve University. She is now an assistant professor at Case. In 2009, she received a $20,000 Creative Workforce Fellowship from Cleveland-based CPAC: Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Using the fellowship money to take a partially compensated leave from her teaching duties in the fall of 2010, Gridley returned to Maine for a writing retreat, where she began work on what would eventually be the poetry manuscript, Loom. In the summer of 2011, pursuing a growing fascination with Tennyson and Julia Margaret Cameron, she visited Farringford and Dimbola, their respective neighboring homes on the Isle of Wight, UK.

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