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These poems blow me away.
A noteworthy debut. Tell your mama.
—Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
Photo: Lindsay Crandall
In This Coalition of Bones, the mortal lessons of the body, the unreliability of the mind, the hyperbole of suburbia, and strange intersections of reality are embroidered into a cerebral, yet evocative landscape. Cori A. Winrock's poems move through an unforgiving, terminal world infused with science, sleight of hand, and the shock of the gross clinic. It is an unsentimental world defined by a playful, eccentric storehouse of created verbs—a place where a glowworm slinkies, girls tween, punks are bonering, people relationship their way into the car, hive their way home.
Cori A. Winrock is a poet whose work has appeared in Best New Poets 2013, Anti-, Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, From the Fishouse, The Journal, and elsewhere. She won the 2012 SLS St. Petersburg Review Award, was chosen as Editor’s Choice for Mid-American Review’s James Wright Poetry Award, and is the recipient of a Barbara Deming Individual Artist Grant. She received her MFA from Cornell University and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at SUNY Geneseo. She lives in Rochester, NY.
Praise for This Coalition of Bones
Because This Is Not Chamber Music
I’ve been issuing the hushed:
the grey-pink bodies
of worms weaving through
memory just before
a closed experience—
those last, lost minutes: you
are dozing off; how steam wisps
from your shoulders as a galaxy
rotating slow and your tiny
auricles bend against
pillows, dissolve clear
as lozenges. I listen into
your dream-sockets: climb
inside the piano of your wiring:
string pull, vibrate and
stretch through the muted
organ of your oh, your yes,
your baby, grand.
from This Coalition of Bones
Cori A. Winrock
Readings & Events:
Insistence pervades Cori A. Winrock’s poems. The coalition of bones that gives this book its title so insists on fusing “things / never intended for union” that the speaker must simply “accept” that fusion. Meanwhile, lakes insistently “lace themselves with ice,” broken bones heal toward “the body reaching // through hushed tissue,” knitted wool unloops itself, root systems search “for afterheat in the dirt,” a galaxy of snow rushes a windshield. Cori A. Winrock’s collection may be a coalition of bones, but is also a coalition of insistent images, insistent songs.---H. L. Hix
Cori A. Winrock's poems are often gorgeous and wild rearrangements of the material world; yet just as often, they summon a precise and glimmering architecture to hold what inhabits the in-between: scapes of memory, of magic, of myth. Of X-ray and disembodiment and desire. With each poem, she builds a new and brilliant thing.---Allison Titus
These poems blow me away. These are metaphysical examinations of sadness, a body opera, a hyper- saturated color tour of suburbia. Bones, electricity, neurons—all insiders. Winrock’s scientific knowledge fuels a sensibility of uncovering the skin of the world, interpreting how its interiors work. Sometimes how it works is that glass lungs hang from clavicles by threads. Sometimes how it works is a once-conjoined twin finds evidence of her sister in a piece of wrapping tape. Sometimes we escape our suburban homes by shining a light on our hands.---Deborah Fries
From "Portrayal, X-Ray" straight through to "Dear Exterior, or The Opposite of Factory is Museum," Cori A. Winrock's poems expose a gorgeous interiority: of cities, of structures, of forests, of relationships and bodies, what informs and what infirms us—the "In-disposed you are vivid sections-of." The collection's winterized landscape of forms includes serial poems of Houdini-inspired "nested escapeboxes;" a ghazal that elevators through "heart containers" of ribcage, mouth, desert, illuminating each floor to slow our descent; a sonnet sequence aglow with suburbia's white-hot disclosures. Throughout, one finds and feels the sybaritic knit to the scientific. Interlaced by complex bridges of "ball & heel," of "suggestive steel," of "consensual togetherness," what holds together This Coalition of Bones is ultimately Winrock's intense and compelling voice. A noteworthy debut, indeed. Tell your mama.---Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
Cori A. Winrock’s This Coalition of Bones seats the reader in a darkened theater, then dazzles eye and ear with an intimate portrait of life’s complexities, whether systems of the body or motions of the world. With equal measures of apposition and immersion, Winrock’s poems approach memory as artifact, and treat the human figure as an object of tender examination. “Dear Exterior, or The Opposite of Factory is Museum” begins, “An inverse. A bright white déjà vu: / a hand inside a head unraveling the public // memory. Step into the same freezing / corridor brimming with preservation // lines of object and meant-to-be // seen.” This Coalition of Bones is a stunning debut, luminous in its rendering of corporeality and the unknown.---Mary Biddinger