Rosarium 2019-02-13T16:10:48+00:00

Project Description


Hannah Dow received her PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Pleaides, North American Review, Cincinnati Review, and Ninth Letter, among others. She currently serves as an Assistant Poetry Editor for Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction, and reads for Ploughshares. Originally from New Hampshire, she currently resides in Southern California.

photo credit: Kristin Teston

Rosarium: Poems

Hannah Dow

Hannah Dow’s debut poetry collection, Rosarium, is a series of beautiful interrogations. In precise, luminous language, Dow engages the mysteries of faith as a catalyst for meditations on the contradictory human condition—our knot of body and spirit. These poems engage the inexplicable, attempting to articulate the tension between doubt and a longing for certainty, between belief in the potency of language and acceptance of its failures. Yet these lyrics never evaporate into abstraction. They pulse with the particular. Postcards that read as prayers (spoken without hope of response) lead us around the corporeal world through vastly different landscapes—from Mississippi, to California, to Europe, to the Middle East—showing how place shapes us, how the mind cannot escape the body. In contemplating transcendence through the mundane, these poems enact a kind of transubstantiation, as in the slim, vast poem that begins the book’s questioning, “What is the Body”:

if not a nest—
indiscernible like a plover’s
shallow hole in sand
lined with shell,
untouchable like a woodpecker’s
mine in a tree’s soft patch.
If not a verb, a being, the way
a pregnant woman
who arranges her home
in the weeks before delivery
is said to be nesting.
How it gathers
everything to itself—
history, windows, warmth.
If not a hive, the bee’s boundless
enter and egress,
then a mountain
thought to be a mountain:
what the magma won’t miss
when it finally erupts.

72 pp., 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

ISBN 978-1-946724-09-0 (pbk)

ISBN 978-1-946724-12-0 (e-book)

BUY E-BOOK $17.00