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"I find it refreshing and somehow also sobering to observe the way Massey sticks so closely to the perceptual world. Like William Carlos Williams, he challenges us to see the value in putting things in words."—Rae Armantrout,American Poet
"In distilled, acutely observed poems, Massey builds the world out of light and shadow; he helps us see pattern and grid, the thinning sunlight . . . You can't call this nature poetry, but it's a beautiful rendition of what's breathable."—Barbara Hoffert,Library Journal
Joseph Massey composed Illocality in his first year in western Massachusetts. Massey's austere landscapes channel the quiet shock, euphoria, and introspection that come with reorientation to place. His language fights apathy with grace and sensitivity. Here are poems with their eyes on seasons, plants, sunlight, and animals, all the while looking for stability and the language to describe it.
The speedat which sleep'sfogged dialogue withers
into the presentnoun-scape
This rift valley
A volley ofseasonal beacons
Joseph Massey is the author of Areas of Fog (Shearsman Books, 2009),At the Point (Shearsman Books, 2011), To Keep Time (Omnidawn, 2014), as well as thirteen chapbooks and various limited-edition broadsides and folios. His work has also appeared in many journals and magazines, includingThe Nation, A Public Space, American Poet: The Journal of the Academy of American Poets,Verse, Western Humanities Review, Quarterly West; and in the anthologiesVisiting Dr. Williams: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of William Carlos Williams(University of Iowa Press, 2011), Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years(W.W. Norton & Company, 2013) and Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation(Viking Penguin, 2015).