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poems by Rebecca Aronson


Winner of The 2024 Philosophical Society of Texas Poetry Award
Winner of The 2024 Eric Hoffer Award for Poetry


paper /  52 pp.  /  $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-949039-35-1
Distributed to the trade by Itasca Books
952-223-8373 /
Publication Date: October 6, 2022



Threaded with epistolary poems to Gravity—envisioned as a capricious god as the author's father began to fall frequently at the outset of a progressive illness—Aronson's latest poems contemplate and address what anchors us, literally and figuratively. These poems excavate grief during the process of losing parents, one to physical illness and the other to dementia. But even in the midst of grief, Aronson never loses sight of the larger world, ever present in all its danger and beauty.




"Such richness abounds in the content of Anchor that it is easy to overlook Aronson’s technique. […] Anchor’s poems build to a crescendo of grief, washing over us like waves, waves that come crashing down with the pull of gravity, but also waves of release and acceptance."

The Rumpus


"The poet stands in wonder, in awe even in the midst of life, scanning memories and moments, the people who are gone now. [...] Repeating poems directed at gravity address the immediate, the temporal, the existential dilemma, as much as they seem to bring the poet back to an excruciating present."
—Eric Hoffer Award Citation


"Anchor is a gorgeous collection of ruminative observations born of [Aronson's] experiences with the final illnesses of her parents. Reflecting on her father’s loss of balance and her mother’s loss of memory, Aronson’s poems contemplate the inexorable pull of gravity that destabilizes her father physically, and the unbearable lightness of memory that unmoors her mother from her own history."
Cultural Daily


"Anchor is an apt title for this collection, as it connects to gravity and embodiment—we are tightly held to the earth, to our bodies, realities that are both comforting and disquieting. […] Where there is grief, there is family connection, love, and care. Where there is fear and anxiety about the state of our world, there is compassion for the earth and for others. Aronson gently reminds us that our humanity is what anchors us but also what allows us to float 'loose from the weight and heartfeel / of our earthbound and bleeding forms.'"

Colorado Review


"Rebecca Aronson’s incredible new collection is full of verve and a syntax of ecstatic vocabulary. Whether it's through abecedarians or epistles to gravity, Aronson’s poems carry the weight of a life, its pressures, its miraculous brevity. Anchor is a balm against grief. These poems face off against loss with 'Technicolor blooming and bird riot,' and every line hums with urgency."
—Traci Brimhall


"We know from Newton, who named it, that gravity is the force of attraction drawing bodies together. Etymologically, it shares itself with gravid and grave—beginning and end. In Anchor, Aronson has given us both the metaphor and the ballast: the harbor from which we venture into our lives on Earth, and the commonality of death that returns us to the earth. With a languid, meditative syntax reminiscent of Virginia Woolf—and an eye for detail equally sensuous and lethal—Aronson has achieved an intimate and artful collection about loss and the inevitable cycles of ebb and flow experienced by every life."

—Kathy Fagan


"In her splendid third collection of poems, Rebecca Aronson writes of the degeneration and death of her parents. The darknesses of the subjects, however, are magicked into beautiful balance in a stunning juggling act which holds opposite forces spinning and gleaming in the empty air—gravity and flight, body and spirit, absence and presence, love and grief. Aronson devises exquisite metaphors on every page to illustrate the tensions it is our human lot to suffer. Gravity itself is a wonderfully personified character in these pages—it loves the dying father, is jealous of other forces that vie for his body, is a class bully here, an ally of the moon there. The poems here are graceful, wildly gorgeous, enriched by Aronson’s vivid animation of earthly and heavenly forces—wind, sand, fire, air, sky, stars. The relative slimness of this volume belies the genuine gravity of the enormous beauties, wonders, and surprises within it."
—Sidney Wade




Dear Gravity,


At night I think about you just as I think about the moon,

how it pulls my body’s rhythms into shapes

I live by but never asked for. You dislodge

an old man from his own center, my father

subverted. You and the moon meddle and distort.

I want to understand, as if knowledge were actually power.

Things fall because space curves. Space curves because of matter.

The body’s matter displaces space a little with every step,

and so he falls, my father, his mind on the curve

of pavement, carefully treading on matter’s ghostly shadow.




Rebecca Aronson is the author of Ghost Child of the Atalanta Bloom, winner of The 2016 Orison Poetry Prize and The 2019 Margaret Randall Book Award from The Albuquerque Museum Foundation, as well as a finalist for The 2017 Arizona/New Mexico Book Award. Her first collection, Creature, Creature, won The Main-Traveled Roads Poetry Prize (2007). She has received The Prairie Schooner Strousse Award, The Loft’s Speakeasy Poetry Prize, and The Tennessee Williams Scholarship to The Sewanee Writers' Conference. Aronson is co-founder and host of Bad Mouth, a series of words and music.

Anchor, poems by Rebecca Aronson

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