Talking Underwater


Featured Poems

Sally Bliumis-Dunn’s readers are lucky to be part of this adventure, this pushing forth in the direction of revelation. — Billy Collins

Sally Bliumis-Dunn’s poems concentrate their language by concentrating their consciousness; and the drama of human consciousness stunned by its self-discovery in the physical world yet ever alert to the beauties and terrors of that world is everywhere present in this astonishing, abrupt, tender, precise, and crystalline collection. To call Talking Underwater a magnificent first book is to do gravely insufficient justice to the scope and rigor of Bliumis-Dunn’s voice, which is not just mature but triumphant. — Vijay Seshadri

What I admire in this elegant debut collection is how Sally Bliumis-Dunn mixes lyrical image with plain statement, creating an idiom that finds figures in meticulously observed flora and fauna for her body awareness and her own exactly felt emotional life. So hydrangeas in autumn become a “tree of sleeping eyes,” the tip of a butterfly’s wing is “pale as rain,” and conquina shells are “my tiny survivors.” In poems lit with a constrained erotic charge she imagines “another world, / where bodies are ripplings / of shadow and light,” but in which her true base is the world of touch, “where being in the present / is the same as desire for / nothing more,” and where what she sees in sea-horse, seagull and starfish is “not the movement of these creatures, / but their means of holding on.” — Eamon Grennan

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