Frail-Craft Jessica Fisher

Yale Series of Younger Poets
Publication date:
26 Apr 2007
Yale University Press
96 pages: 235 x 156 x 6mm
Sales territories:

Announcing the 2006 recipient of the prestigious Yale Younger Poets prize

Jessica Fisher’s Frail-Craft is winner of the 2006 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition and judge Louise Glück’s fourth selection for the series. The book and the dream are the poet’s primary objects of investigation here. Through deft, quietly authoritative lyrics, Fisher meditates on the problems and possibilities—the frail craft—of perception for the reader, the dreamer, maintaining that “if the eye can love—and it can, it does—then I held you and was held.” In her foreword to the book, Louise Glück writes that Fisher’s poetry is “haunting, elusive, luminous, its greatest mystery how plain-spoken it is. Sensory impressions, which usually serve as emblems of or connections to emotion, seem suddenly in this work a language of mind, their function neither metonymic nor dramatic. They are like the dye with which a scientist injects his specimen, to track some response or behavior. Fisher uses the sense this way, to observe how being is converted into thinking.”

Jessica Fisher is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of California at Berkeley. She is coeditor, with Robert Hass, of The Addison Street Anthology. She lives in Oakland.

"A debut filled with dark, ethereal verses and prose poems. . . . [Fisher] brings to her poems a satisfying and often very powerful seriousness of purpose."?Publishers Weekly

"In this intelligent, often playful collection, by the winner of last year's Yale Younger Poets prize, a series of elliptical vignettes hint at larger, incompletely apprehended narratives. Fisher builds her verse around absences?roads not taken, lovers who have disappeared?and indicts language for its inadequate approximations. . . . Throughout, her sense of humor keeps the poems grounded."?New Yorker

"Fisher's debut poetry collection melds dreamscape and West Coast landscape, truth and fiction, and hurt and humor with a composed yet passionate language that seems all her own. . . . Recommended."?Library Journal

"Stylistically striking, Fisher's poems render the world in fractals through the mind's sight, valued more than visibility itself. . . . Seeing, how to see, having seen too much, Fisher uses something like stereography's multiplicity of view conveying the complexity of sight."?Deborah Denicola, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Nominated for the Northern California Book Award in Poetry as one of the best works of a northern California author published in 2007, given by the Northern California Book Reviewers.

"Reading Jessica Fisher's first collection of poetry is like wandering through a garden of forking paths that at times give suddenly, astonishingly, onto the sea. . . . Extraordinary. . . . These poems are reminders of how great a burden their frail craft can bear."?Boston Review