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  • Parse

    Ruth Baumann

    Compression has always been one of the poet’s most powerful and intoxicating tools, their process of sculpting the poem until it advances for inspection only its most essential mysteries and delights. In Ruth Baumann’s fearless, commanding debut collection, Parse, it becomes something more—the strategy more spiritual than aesthetic, with the stakes being nothing less than the poet’s own soul. It’s rare to see a debut poet build such alluring density, or such incantatory silence. Baumann’s is a devastating, urgent music: “Above the frame bells toll. / All blood out of / focus. Can you hear?”

    —Kaveh Akbar

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