My AWP Haul: FJORDS Vol. 1

6 Mar

Like many of you, I spent an exciting and exhausting weekendish at AWP in Chicago. I read stuff, took in readings, slung books for the first time with the Vouched crew(!!) saw old friends and new friends, ate way too much food and drank way too much beer, talked until the wee hours of the morning about literature and books and movies and music, and cleaned up at the book fair. It was magical.

I took a couple of extra days off work after I got back on Sunday to just chill, detox, be inspired, write, and read. And I’ve been thinking–what better way to drag out the magic that is AWP than to talk about all the books I bought there, little by little by little? Yes, bittersweet. But also rewarding, in a way that I think you will like, too.

  • So, first up: Zachary Schomburg’s FJORDS vol. I. I have to admit, the Black Ocean table was the first one I hit up at the book fair. I was laser-focused, looking for this book like a questing knight. When I got it home, I immediately devoured it, and found it so painfully sad, so beautifully made, so original and funny and insightful and so even better than anything else he’s ever written, that I kind of wanted to just give up writing and buy a hundred copies of this book and hand it out instead, everywhere I go. The book focuses on a bunch of “little deaths” that live on the fjords of the title, coming for Schomburg slowly but surely, and concentrates on disappointment, loss, death, love, and the beauty in all of the sadness. The joy in all of the blackness. Schomburg keeps writing these things that just break your fucking heart, over and over and over, into little tiny shards of glass that glimmer and gleam in the light like his poetry. Things like this:

I don’t know how best to tell you about the angel, about what death really is. It seems so implausible until it happens. You start to sweat and you get swallowed into the dark. then you’re swinging on a rope over a beautiful cliff, only there’s no such thing as beauty.

Or this:

The truth is there is no such thing as spells. The world is always as it is, and always as it seems. And love is just our own kind voice that we whisper into our own blood.

The only thing to do with poems like this is absorb them into your body. Or the only thing to do with poems like this is to sit back, apart, and watch as they try to make you feel something. And be amazed and breathless and struck dumb when they succeed, utterly, completely. Ouch. And wow.

2 Responses to “My AWP Haul: FJORDS Vol. 1”


  1. AWP 2012 Overview « Write on the World - March 7, 2012

    […] My AWP Haul: FJORDS Vol. 1 ( […]

  2. SSR #6 of 15: Fjords Vol. 1 « Vouched Books - July 8, 2012

    […] already did a fantastic review of this shortly after AWP, but I can’t contain myself. It needs to be reiterated that this is a book […]

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