Site design: Skeleton
Slim Margin, Poems by Alison Apotheker
“Look how the world pleads to be contained/and everlasting,” writes Alison Apotheker in Slim Margin. The lines of her poems contain the world’s richness, entwining and tangling themselves with physical and everlasting truth.
“Poetry comes to minds (and hearts) exercised in it, not just from some muse who swoops down and kisses you on the forehead. Alison Apotheker’s work has ‘pattern made of passion’ that is a practice (a discipline and a devotion) of seeing and hearing that gives witness to the wonderment of the world. The emotional range is enormous. She can be tender, ferocious, incendiary, funny (in a heart-scalding way), heart-scalding (in an irreverent way), reverent, and disarming in her affections and attachments. She’s written a burning bush of a book.”—Bruce Smith
“A television glows like ‘a little campfire warming your hands.’ Jellyfish are ‘parachutes that never stop falling.’ The line on a crabtrap thrown from shore follows it ‘like blind love.’ Water is ‘as black and deep / as any mother’s eyes watching her child sleep.’ It’s Apotheker’s ability to craft startling, eye-opening metaphors that makes this book—and these poems—so fresh and original. Like the lightning she compares to ‘the shuddering of gold coins / between the magician’s hand / and the child’s ear,’ this associative risk-taking electrifies the poems, lights them from within. Slim Margin is a memorable, serious, and impressive first book.”—Davis McCombs
“Slim Margin is a book fat with life, fat with detail, a robust, compelling, almost unbelievably mature first book. Alison Apotheker is a deft guide of this world’s landscapes, whether showing us spring coming to the Alpine Tundra or introducing us to the treeplanters of the Walamut Paper Company of Natchitoches, Louisiana, or the firefighters of Ochoco Forest. She’s also a deft guide of that strange muscle, the human heart; here we have poems mourning a mother and welcoming a child, another where ‘Forty-Somethings at the Swimming Hole’ jump with ‘arms flung wide as if the sky / was giving out / parachutes,’ and lovers who, in ‘Dungeness Crabbing at Siletz Bay,’ pull in a ‘doubler / the male riding the she-crab / cradling her with his walking legs’ because she’s moulting. The poem ends, ‘Imagine the basket of his clicking claws / that carries her through…the backing out / and breaking free, how he holds her / and holds her safe—paper shell to / buckram to hard shell again.’ A glorious accomplishment; a welcome and necessary collection.”—Beth Ann Fennelly
Alison Apotheker was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and has lived in Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Arkansas. Her poems have appeared in many literary magazines, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Mid-American Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Cream City Review. Her work has received the C. Hamilton Bailey fellowship from Oregon Literary Arts and twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She teaches writing and literature at Portland Community College and lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.
ISBN 978-1934999394, 80 pages, $18.00