University of Akron Press
Fifteenth-century theologian and philosopher Nicholas Malebranche said that attentiveness is the natural prayer of the soul. The title of this third collection by National Book Award finalist Harrison means both to pay attention to, and to be concerned by. These strange and moving poems take as one of their central tenets that the act of paying attention engenders care, empathy, and love. From the widest lenses—history, time itself, the abandoned machines of space, ancient plagues, and the moon—to the smallest creatures we share the imperiled planet with—mice, wood frogs, birds, bats, and bees—the poems of Reck ask what it means to live and how we can love in our historical moment, beset as we are by climate change, pandemic, war and cataclysms great and small. An early poem invites— "Come be with me we have tickets for the end/ of the world." By turns funny, bitter, and deeply lyrical, this is a book of love, attention, concern, and grief.
Leslie Harrison is the author of two previous books, Displacement (Mariner, 2009), which won the Bakeless prize in poetry, selected by Eavan Boland, and The Book of Endings (Akron, 2017), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry and a Mary Sawyers Baker artist award. She is a displaced New Englander who lives and works in Baltimore.