Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

Acquainted with the Cold by Lexa Hillyer On Sale at Bona Fide Books

Posted on November 24, 2012
Filed Under Made by Tahoe

Restless and exhilarating, Lexa Hillyer’s inaugural collection spins headlong into a rush of sound and image, revealing the possibilities hidden beneath a thin layer of ice or snow. Acquainted with the Cold, winner of the 2011 Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize, begins with a seduction and ends with a call: “Barred owl, I’m ready./Convince me of eternity.” Through her poems, Hillyer invites the reader to live more fully, to delve into the wild possibilities open to us all.

Order online today at Bona Fide Books.

November, the Cursed

Your leaves are dismantled. They madly rise.

Pigeons reign over paved roofs while black

starlings—urgent, hectic—possess

the elm. You’ve abandoned the branches—

their detestable nudity: too many eyes.

A bright-red scarf billows from a window

as a stranger hunches by with a laundry sack.

Breeze, I have learned these lies,

yet every time I go three days alone

I’m convinced by some dark decree that no one

comes back. And this is not the same lawless

guilt I feel toward my father, cast from the skies.

Your leaves burst forth in a terrible frenzy—

and now the red scarf comes free: it flies.

“In Acquainted with the Cold we are introduced to an important new voice in poetry. Lexa Hillyer’s poetic gifts and ambitions are fierce. Full of vivid imagery and memorable music, these poems surprise, move, and sing. I feel I have been waiting a long time to read this wonderful collection.”

—Laura Kasischke, author of Space, in Chains

“Charged with apt and astonishing metaphors, reckless intelligence, unnerving passion, and the ‘waa waa /and the oooo waa’ of their own original music, these poems race towards you, ‘unstoppable,’ and then, wonderfully, linger, persist like ‘held fire,’ so you can walk about in them and marvel how Lexa Hillyer brings everything together in this remarkable debut collection. Truly, Acquainted with the Cold is a book of wonders.”

—Theodore Deppe, author of Orpheus on the Red Line

“This haunting debut collection of lyric poems has a mind—and body—of winter, elusive as a ghost lover—or the self ghosted by its unfolding life. Hillyer mesmerizes with her introspection, intuition, daring, honesty, restraint, and fabulous imagery: ‘In the icy flux of darkness and hunger, sometimes it’s just beyond us to resist.’”

—April Ossmann, author of Anxious Music

Lexa Hillyer received her BA in English from Vassar College and her MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. She was the recipient of the Inaugural Poetry Prize from Tusculum Review and the First Prize in Poetry from Brick & Mortar Review, and was named one of the “Best New Poets of 2012” by Matthew Dickman. Hillyer worked as an editor at both Harper Collins and Penguin, and is co-founder of boutique literary incubator Paper Lantern Lit. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and a very skinny orange tree.


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