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Stranger: Poems
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Stranger is a book of both great change and deep roots, of the most rich elements of the earth and the instability of a darkening sky. The third collection by Adam Clay dives into a dynamic world where the only map available is "not of the world / but of the path I took to arrive in this place, / a map with no real definable future purpose." Tracing a period of great change in his life--a move, a new job, the birth of his first child--Clay navigates the world with elegance and wonder, staring into the heart of transition and finding in it the wisdom that "Despite our best efforts to will it shut, / the proof of the world's existence / can best be seen in its insistence, / in its opening up." By firmly grasping on to the present, the past and the future collapse into the lived moment, allowing for an unclouded view of a way forward.
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About the Author

Adam Clay is the author of two previous books of poetry, The Wash (Free Verse Editions 2006) and A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World (Milkweed Editions 2012). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Poetry Daily, Crab Orchard Review, Boston Review, and elsewhere. He co-edits TYPO Magazine and teaches at the University of Illinois Springfield. He lives in Illinois with his wife and daughter.

Reviews

Praise for Stranger "Sometimes a poet stops me. Adam Clay's writing is spiritually superior to any effort I can make to describe it."--Washington Independent Review of Books "With each deliberate, rigorous, and perfect line, Stranger works itself into a heartbreakingly stunning collection dedicated to the unsung suspension of time that occurs when life suddenly goes awry."--Ada Limon "I've always thought the body to be a kind of mind and in these poems, precise lyrics detailing the most ordinary times, Adam Clay seems--or maybe it only seems he seems--to agree. In those moments when one rearranges the furniture in a room or leaves the cast-iron skillet in the oven or contemplates an ink stain on the wall, Clay finds a space for deep inquiry."--Kazim Ali "If you're the type who can't stomach small talk, Adam Clay's Stranger makes for terrific company. Refusing to placate or console his reader, Clay proves himself one of our most challenging and brilliant poets."--Cate Marvin

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