Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields
University of Akron Press
In her first book, Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields, Ashley Capps sounds like the voice of a fresh generation of poets, where the familiar turns suddenly elliptical, straight talk goes engagingly crooked, and the lyric negotiates with the matter-of-fact. Desperate for something solid to believe in, Capps still mistrusts authority, feeling disenchanted with God, family, eros, even her own impulsive self. And yet while the absence of faith hints at despair, these poems often achieve, almost inspite of themselves, an odd buoyancy. Playful, fearless, wary, there's a dazzling resilience in this book. One poem can make a grand and eccentric claim,
I forgive the afterlife,
while another takes as its title something humbler and more poisonous,
God Bless Our Crop-Dusted Wedding Cake.
No matter how adrift this poet may feel, poetry itself remains her anchor and lifeline.
Ashley Capps was born and raised in North Carolina, and received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. She has held fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and the Iowa Arts Council. She currently lives in Iowa City, where she works as an educational therapist. Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields is her first book.