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Larissa Andrusyshyn’s début collection confronts loss and mourning by exploring the lyric science behind keeping things alive in a world where technology is at work reviving extinct species. Through strikingly innovative uses of metaphor, personification, and surrealistic leaps of narrative imagination, this exciting and wide-ranging collection of poems about family and memory in the context of human bio-intervention pushes our thinking about the relationship between parts (fragments, shards, things washed up in pieces) and wholes (cohering personal narratives and stories, ecosystems, and other contextualizing frameworks, The Universe). Witness to the process and fact of her father’s death, Andrusyshyn proceeds to find him again through a series of innovative poems that move seamlessly from the Museum to the Petri dish, the fairground to the cloning lab. Mammoth approaches the incomprehensibility of death from the perspective of Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence” and consequently develops its own mode of post-Darwinian elegy, wherein death is examined without bathos, through the paleontologist’s magnifying glass and the geneticist’s microscope.
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