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Ghost Child of the Atalanta Bloom
by Rebecca Aronson

Winner of the 2016 Orison Poetry Prize, selected by Hadara Bar-Nadav
Finalist for the 2017 New Mexico Book Award

80 pp.  / paper  /  $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-9964397-0-1
Distributed to the trade by Itasca Books
1-800-901-3480 /
Publication Date: April 4, 2017





In Ghost Child of the Atalanta Bloom Rebecca Aronson combines myth and memory, history and landscape, dream and the everyday in arresting, painterly poems that sweep the reader beyond the ordinary. With a practiced hand Aronson crafts shapely poems in which no word is wasted. In fact, nothing is wasted, and Aronson’s poems redeem all manner of powerful images and experiences from time’s grasp, forming a new mythology out of the raw material of her life and imagination.





“Her lines storm out of the gate and maintain a thrilling, cogent sense of direction, as if Rebecca Aronson has only recently been given permission to communicate and she is eager to share.”

–Foreword Reviews


“Rife with hunger and volatility, these poems, rooted in the dry heat of the American Southwest, circle an unnamed longing, and seek release. [. . .]  Through the heat of fire or the joy and fear of new motherhood, [Aronson] follows that trail of want, searching endlessly for ‘a reason and a reason and a reason for joy.’”



“Throughout the collection, Aronson balances two views of the world: one in which the world is bursting with life and one where the world is a collection of remnants. Bluebells and birds sit adjacent to shards of pottery, or buried cities. Past the garden, there is always an apocalypse happening, some city ruining itself. The rain that makes the flowers bloom is, somewhere, creating a flood. [. . .] [W]e move between different ruins–of lovers, of parents, of cityscapes and gods and gnats in wine glasses–and it’s all right then. It’s okay. Even our ruins will be illuminated, brightly, brilliantly.”
–Reilly Cox, Black Warrior Review


”Explosive, turbulent, haunting, magnetic, Rebecca Aronson’s Ghost Child of the Atalanta Bloom begins with a girl who sets a field on fire, an apt metaphor for poems that are themselves fiery. Mortality and death undergird Aronson’s fantastical visions, where a child becomes a seagull, a woman turns tarantula, and a house threatens to fill with blood. Fierce vulnerability and brutality excite the perceptions of the ill and the grief-stricken, the child and the new mother who claims: ‘With teeth I guard the home, and with breathing.’ Details are vaulted to life, wild with electricity–from a canoe to a pearl to a bobbin, ‘even the grass / could be an engine of desire.’ An acute and visceral brightness–an aliveness–reaches under the