The Spoons In the Grass Are There to Dig a Moat (Sarabande Books, 2016)

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(Publication date: April 12, 2016)

Amelia Martens’s prose poems reveal expansive ideas in compressed language. From the domestic to the geopolitical, from the mundane to the miraculous, from heartbreak to hilarity, these brief vignettes take the form of prayers, parables, confessions, and revelations. Intimate and urgent, Martens’s poems are strange, darkly funny, and utterly beguiling.

“Whether she is proffering chilling indications of an apocalypse, agonizing over an earnest apology, or conjuring the latent melancholy of bedtime, [Martens] remains both playful and precise, at once whimsical and commanding…. As tangible as it is surreal.” —Booklist

“This is a powerful and original collection of prose poems. Each poem is its own non-linear, semi-surreal expression, but it dawns on the reader, with a sobering chill, that these poems refer to our actual world and our present time. Not surprisingly, this book involves a slow-motion nightmare, one we would turn away from if we had an alternative. But we don’t—and that may be the hardest truth this book discovers by never directly landing on it. Love alone provides a light, and there isn’t an alternative to that, thank goodness.” ~Maurice Manning

“Amelia Martens is one of a kind, a true original, a rare star. She speaks of the everyday and the metaphysical in the same breath, composing poems with dark wit that witness the bizarre in the ordinary, fiction in fact, and vice versa. I find myself reading her poems over again over, pondering her peculiar and powerful magic.” ~Nin Andrews

“Some of Amelia Martens’ poems read like newly minted parables, and some like reinvigorated versions of the oldest parables. It’s like a flock of decommissioned myths had been rinsed clean and retrofitted to capture, with tenderness, the experience of here and now. To read them is to feel gratitude for the lyrical imagination.” ~Max Garland

“In this compendium of transformations we are gifted with hybrid creations, part parable, part flight, part lullaby that simultaneously delight and terrify with their lyric multiplicities and willingness to live, even thrive, in duality and mystery. These poems offer sustenance and solace and also serve as tools to construct refuge, an edifice to mend the old torn stories: wise, joyous, keen, tender they show us the divine in the most unexpected places.” ~Catherine Bowman

The Spoons in the Grass Are There to Dig a Moat

Full length collection, Sarabande Books 2016


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