A sparrow like a “fumbled punch line” is lost in an airport; a man translating Ovid is transfigured by witnessing a massacre in Jamestown in 1621; a woman smiles seductively as the skin on her back is opened out like a wing; a lizard upon a laptop shimmers with the true life, primitive and binary, of our modern information age. In the sonically rich, formally restless poems of this debut collection, Song & Error, the thread that unravels all we think we know of the world is plucked loose and drawn from a seal’s beached corpse. Uniting past and present, history and autobiography, Averill Curdy’s poems strive to endure within “the crease of transformation” and to speak—sing—of that terrible beauty.
Averill Curdy was born in the Pacific Northwest, where she worked as an arts administrator and in the software industry. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rona Jaffe Foundation, among others, and her poems have appeared widely in both the United States and England. She lives in Chicago and teaches at Northwestern University.