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Iron, Ardent takes its title from an untitled poem by Emily Bronte in which she asserts:“That iron man was born like me /And he was once an ardent boy/ He must have felt in infancy /The glory of a summer sky.” Like Bronte’s poem, this collection is concerned with tracing the world as a “Vale of Soul-Making,” in which we are formed and transfigured by the facticity of living, the being of the body, or as Black writes “the grief of the good body/which remembers everything.” In poems that track experience of disability, love, sex, disillusion, and motherhood, Black maps both the sorrow and glory of forming a soul in a world where “whatever will not shrivel must grow.”
Sheila Black is the author of House of Bone, Love/Iraq (both CW Press), and Wen Kroy winner of the 2011 Orphic Prize in Poetry from Dream Horse Press. She is a co-editor with Jennifer Bartlett and Michael Northen of Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, (Cinco Puntos Press). She received a 2012 Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, for which she was selected by Philip Levine. She lives in San Antonio, Texas where she directs Gemini Ink, a literary arts center.
Cover Art by Christine Martin