Transfer of Qualities

Longlist, National Book Awards 2013 for Poetry

Martha Ronk, Transfer of Qualities book cover
ISBN 9781890650827
Omnidawn Publishing

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Each entry in this book probes the dissolving boundaries between those sharing space with one another; and the various genres in the book—prose poem, creative nonfiction, and personal essay—echo the theme of interdependence. Transfer of Qualities addresses the uncanny and myriad ways in which people and things, but also people and those around them, exchange qualities with one another, moving in on and altering stance, attitude, mood, and gesture. Material things often seem amazingly alive and this collection follows an author engrossed with the boundaries between life and death, the moving and the still, and the stone-like book and the vivid stirring within the pages. There are many influences behind this collection, but the major genie of the piece is Henry James whose musings in The Sacred Fount provided the book’s title and direction.