$16.95, 6 x 9", 88 pgs, perfect bound

ISBN 978-1-888553-66-6

Purchases for the trade are

handled by SPD.

Pomegranate-Eater’s “radiant host” lives where fecundity meets decay, where the orderly Victorian garden explodes in wild tendrils. The “feast of ingathering” Borsuk spreads before the reader is a harvest at once decadent and cannibalistic: the fruit “explodes overripe, then rots” in our mouths. These rich and densely-layered confections invite us to devour self after self as the text’s shifting speaker builds and rebuilds an identity in language. Through prose poems interrogating the self in the guise of various fruit, epistles obliquely addressing a shadow lover, and dense lexical tapestries whose words seem to point only away from meaning and toward one another, Borsuk lets language speak, directing our gaze at its shimmering surfaces. This book of metamorphoses delights in puns, anagrams, etymologies, and homologies that freight each line with a surfeit of sound and sense. As the “I” of the book slips from speaker to speaker, “shifts a hip,” and draws attention to itself, it also acknowledges its failure to “speak plain.” Rather than attempting to cohere, Borsuk’s speakers acknowledge their own failings, their shame, and their need for a “thicker skin.” When identity arises in relation to others, how does one become self-possessed? these poems ask. And should one?

Pomegranate Eater by Amaranth Borsuk

Amaranth Borsuk's most recent book is As We Know, a collaboration with Andy Fitch. She is the author of Handiwork, and, with Brad Bouse, Between Page and Screen. Abra, a collaboration with Kate Durbin forthcoming from 1913 Press, recently received an NEA-sponsored Expanded Artists’ Books grant from the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago and will be issued as an artist’s book with an iPad app created by Ian Hatcher this year. Amaranth is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell, where she also teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics.



"A dazzling, sensual, & brilliantly inventive invitation

to taste what André Gide called, The Fruits of the

Earth--as well as an offering of those more suspect

pomegranate seeds from that place below.

Persephone’s breath animates these exquisite lines,

these wry hymns and provocative psalms of both

profusion and reckoning. Already known as one of

our most compelling poetic marauders in recent

poetry, Amaranth Borsuk proves once again that she

is the poet to watch as we enter this next century of

new poetic mythologies and of radical technologies

as well. Don’t miss this truly amazing book."

—David St. John



Praise for Pomegranate Eater

In Pomegranate Eater, Amaranth Borsuk’s brilliant second collection, we’re forced into a world as dense as the fruit of reference. Language is the myth, transforming quicker than Ovid’s subjects and with more precision than Stein’s subversive prosody. Here, Persephone makes of her perception a cunning field where a lost control is regained through polychromatic violence and brusque

erotics. “Rising rhizomes in the risk garden” rebuke the surface of observation allowing the tongue-blade to cut where “nibs of human language convalesce.” I am honored to experience the control of “…like quoins, I wedge. Like coins, I dazzle.” I’d willingly pay that price and eat seed after seed of these poems.—Phillip B. Williams

Amaranth Borsuk’s Pomegranate-Eater is a verbal feat, an ecstatic, curious, thrilled “feast of ingathering,” where the poet gives voice to the usually mute vegetable world—and pries words open themselves: they are garrulous, festive in Borsuk’s rich discoveries of etymological lineages that echo human connections, emotions. Sink into the gorgeous linguistic play, feast on it, for the mind’s eye and rest your ear to this active text, its pyrotechnic flare for digging out the kinships between words and with sensations (‘milking musk

thistle’). Borsuk recalls the Symbolists, with more urgency in her ever-expanding word families, their rooting and rhizomes, their mutancy and mutability. “Amaranth” hidden in “Colonel Amaranth” makes an appearance, flashing the humor that carries us through the book’s probing of various kinds of survivals, deaths (genetic codes and the language of WW II espionage and persecution are all layers here), for “what we love / is not the rose / but the smell of its decay.” Decay and love are knit. A dervish with words, Borsuk

admits she’s “guest in this opus,” inviting readers to her table, made of quicksilver and bone. Echoing her epigram from Rilke, she proves no pact between earth and abundance. Still every guest in this pantheon of horticultural specimens (the mulberry has its day as well as the quince), mythic figures (Dido among them), epistolary partners (“Ally” from “Allay”; “Urgency” from “Surge”) increase our love in their aftermath. This is a book that amazes with its dexterity, empathy, and guarded hope; it’s sure to heighten your awareness of language as soother and sayer.—Susan McCabe

Excerpts from Pomegranate Eater


Ravenous in pelts of prior selves, I step
                                        out of my vestments
             into ravishment. I lay table
                                       for my own
                                                  commensal multitudes.

Full-length when most aware,
                                armed in offering
                    or pleasure, I could spiral
                                                   at any moment,
                                      shift my fruited baldachin skirt.

My guests as much my hostages,
                                           my home as much hospice
                              as grove,
               this is my favorite role:
                              I’ll be their server.

They come to be nearer the river,
                              its alliterative languor,
call me Brookweed, Cripple,
               Ghost. They approach
                                               to hear what’s sibilant
                                                              in my libant crops.

By what prodigal pedigree
                                was I rendered so adorned?

It began with a rupture mistaken
                for a late-descending
                                                   testis. I turned color
                                   from citron to thistle, my skin
                                                     (never uniform).

I brooded,
               forced to live under a bed,
                                  and there I billowed,
               never learned to contain
                                  my mutation.

I grew hinge-dark, knew rapture
                                  as the taste of broken
                skin. Lean in, I’m not contagious,
                                              just hospitable.

It’s bright here
                               and everything grows.
                               We’re lit from within
                                               by systems of exchange.
                               The feast of ingathering
                                               is laid.
                   What we love
                                is not the rose,
                   but the smell of its decay.




Readings & Events

    May 21, 2016
  • Open Books, Seattle , 4-6pm
  • Book launch with Sarah Mangold
  • Downtown LA Hotel, Bar, 5:30pm

  • Book launch and reading with Kore Press poets

Friday, April 1,

Booksigning, booth #1635 AWP LA


Dates to be announced for Vancouver BC, Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts