What people are saying…
In Joanna Lee’s Dissections, it’s not just the body that is taken apart. Language is delicately extracted from memory, childhood landscapes stitched and sewn into river water, mathematical equations disembodied from their numbers become herons in sunlight. These poems trace the luminous triumphs of the body’s everyday struggle against entropy, against disappearance. The human heart is transformed into a being beyond us, no longer muscle but air and future and train and night. Like all good words, these lines keep death at bay, even for a moment. Let’s sit here a while and read together, hold our lives clutched close against the sterile smell, waiting. I am never dressed for it, but god, it feels like coming home. –Joshua Poteat, author of The Regret Histories
“The sky is closer here…” Joanna Lee writes in her new collection, Dissections, where she melds the scientific study of the body’s internal parts to the literary analysis of texts and their reflections. What emerge are powerful poems, rich in detail, fueled by the documentation of fact and explored relationships. Through found forms, alert line breaks, and sonic diction Lee teaches us, “there is salt, and there is salt.” That in this world there is another ‘nested’ world, where the poet intimately bridges the mundane and holy, where Lee’s robust poems ring out for you and me, for “…God, / mathematicians & all.” –Dorinda Wegener, Co-Founder of Trio House Press
from a September 2018 reading at Firehouse Theatre, Richmond, VA. Film credit Bill Glose
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