The Book of Endings

Finalist, National Book Awards 2017 for Poetry

The Book of Endings by Leslie Harrison book cover
ISBN 9781629220635
University of Akron Press
Leslie Harrison, credit: Theresa Keil
Leslie Harrison

Leslie Harrison is the author of The Book of Endings and Displacement. She was born in Germany and raised mostly in New Hampshire. She holds graduate degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and The University of California, Irvine. Her poems have appeared in journals including Poetry, The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, FIELD, Subtropics, Pleiades, Orion and elsewhere. More about this author >

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The poems in The Book of Endings try to make sense of, or at least come to some kind of reckoning with absence—the death of the author’s mother, the absence of the beloved, the absence of an accountable god, cicadas, the dead stars arriving, the dead moon aglow in the night sky.

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In The Book of Endings, Leslie Harrison starts from the beginning, with elemental things—stones, wind, fire, the dark. Someone has left (it might be god), something has ended (it might be the world). It is also as if grammar itself has ended. There is a stuttering toward new meaning—an associative flow, gaps in reason, silence—as if a transistor radio was tuned to the interior of consciousness.