Literature & literary studies:

The Book of Sharks


Paperback / softback

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The Book of Sharks by Rob Carney
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Poetry. "THE BOOK OF SHARKS is an accomplishment at the micro and macro level. Rob Carney has crafted lines that you'll want to save for your next tattoo inside of efficient poems that touch on creation myth, forgotten industries, and slices of life in villages he manufactures with a creator's divine spark. All of this works on its own inside of a larger, complex quilt that he has woven into an intricate pattern that revisits themes, finishes stories, and reminds you that THE BOOK OF SHARKS is a larger poem that is greater than just its sharpened teeth."--Jesse Parent "In precise, sharp lines, Rob Carney's THE BOOK OF SHARKS builds and interrogates myth and myth-makers, turning to sharks to also turn inward and outward, exploring one's purpose and place and the stories one tells to make meaning. Here, poems wash out and return like the tides they describe, inviting the reader to feel their weight, as if 'to disappear under the stories / as though they were waves.' In the end, whether in water, sky, or story, Carney invites us to consider the essential motivation of 'moving, arriving, being full, ' what it means to seek."--Callista Buchen "'Some say sharks are the ocean's anger at us for being in its future, ' writes Rob Carney. I say poems are sharks' way of forgiving us for the soup, the necklaces, the movies, and the mascots. And, let's not even mention climate change. Rob Carney's trenchant, probing poems circle around the self, not so much sensing blood but, perhaps even more dangerously, searching for understanding. Part confession, part documentation, part meditation, these smartly crafted lyrics explore how and why we have and have not allowed sharks (metaphors for so many things) to swim into our lives. This is a major effort from a talented poet."--Dean Rader "In his ambitious collection, THE BOOK OF SHARKS, Rob Carney reimagines the human world and facets of contemporary society by creating a mythology and origin story that correct the erroneous legend of sharks. In building a new lens through which to view the sea and its most vilified species, Carney opens up a new way to conceive of art, life, storytelling, and the connections among living creatures in the sea, on land, and among the stars. 'Some say sharks are the ocean's anger, ' he repeats in two poems, and later--as the collection evolves--they become 'the ocean's blueprint.' In this collection, comprised of seven sections, containing seven poems each, Carney weds structure and symbolism to reinforce his creation myth; correction and etymology to reconfigure historical facts; and repetition of images and phrases to place these poems--all without titles, bleeding poignantly into one another as part of an ongoing narrative or interconnected species--in the epic tradition. Here we are offered a sympathetic view of sharks, an alternative way to see constellations and their corresponding myths, and a new foundation from which to begin our lives and our stories. Carney's speaker demands that we reexamine what is actually dangerous versus what's been stereotyped so, and most of all he begs us to see ourselves new, 'to bear in mind / we aren't the measure of Creation. Just a part.'"--Lisa Fay Coutley

Author Biography

Rob Carney is originally from Washington state. He is the author of four previous collections, including 88 Maps (Lost Horse Press 2015), which was named a finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and Weather Report (Somondoco Press 2006), which won the Utah Book Award for Poetry. His work has appeared in Cave Wall, Columbia Journal, Sugar House Review, Terrain: A Journal of the Built and Natural Environments, and dozens of others, as well as the Norton anthology Flash Fiction Forward (2006). In 2014 he received the Robinson Jeffers/Tor House Foundation Award for seven of the poems included in THE BOOK OF SHARKS (Black Lawrence Press, 2018). He is a Professor of English and Literature at Utah Valley University and lives in Salt Lake City.
Release date Australia
July 31st, 2018
Country of Publication
United States
Black Lawrence Press
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