William Carlos Williams writes, “There is a constant barrier between the reader and his consciousness of immediate contact with the world. If there is an ocean it is here. Or rather, the whole world is between: Yesterday, tomorrow, Europe, Asia, Africa,—all things removed and impossible.”
Anderson goes “overboard” into this ocean. She scrutinizes our awareness of contact, esp. of the processes contributing to locality, geographies, cities, address. By extension, going overboard is a method of travel, from a surface, through air, to water or somewhere else. These poems are of the air, of the time spent considering the water and where we want to be. They work with a fusion of discursiveness and discontinuity that seems paradoxical and unlike anybody else.
Beth Anderson’s first book,The Habitable World (Instance Press, 2001), was a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in New American Writing, The Germ, Barrow Street, The Best American Poetry of 2003, and An Anthology of New (American) Poets (Talisman House, 1998). She is an editor of Subpress, a cooperative small press publisher of poetry.
“With their gorgeous locutions and turns, their heady breath, Anderson’s poems haunt, inhabit, and conjure the world.”
“ Anderson is a master of the syntactic measure, blending novelistic and essayistic tones with first-person statements that retain a cool observational air without ever feeling aloof…”
—Steve Evans, Notes to Poetry [2002-03]