Lost City Museum
ELJ Publications, October 2016
Praise for Lost City Museum
"Layered and nuanced, the poems of Lost City Museum submerge us in worlds fashioned out of our world. We find ourselves in sea or fog, in petrified lava, in glass, in night, in an organ’s pipes of bones. And always, always, we are submerged in language that rouses and compels. These are deeply inhabited landscapes, precise and perceptive. It’s such a pleasure to lose oneself in Lost City Museum that one might wish never to be found."
—Beth Ann Fennelly
"Stacey Balkun writes insatiably curious and fearless poems, like a deep-sea diver or oceanographer showing us a new world. Lost City Museum excavates underwater cities, the ocean floor, a father’s death, a marriage, and the body with boundless talent and an ocean-sized heart. Balkun crafts poems like underwater treasures brought to the surface, like museum artifacts housed in glass. “This is how to swim and still feel holy,” she instructs, and we do. You’ll feel new. The ambitious discoveries in these poems are a pure delight."
"Stacey Balkun’s Lost City Museum navigates the depths of grief while simultaneously singing everywhere shining new love. This poet’s power is her precision—of language, of image, of the heart’s buried maps. These are poems that rise like 'prayer // turned-paper-boat cast out into the ocean.' They support 'a jetty built from an old graveyard, invented land // jutted like jawbone.' Balkun is a cartographer building her own Atlantis, and we are lucky to enter her world: for admission she’ll only charge 'a handful of pennies / and a promise to dive / after them.'"
Poems from Lost City Museum
Jackalope-Girl Learns to Speak
dancing girl press, May 2016
Praise for Jackalope-Girl
"Magical, gut-punching, familial myth braided with a powerful assertion of the self. Jackalope-Girl Learns to Speak is domestic fabulism, a branch of magical realism, at its sharpest--weaving together the heart-strings in gorgeously tight lyrics of a birthmother & the daughter she placed for adoption. The fairy tale structure asks readers to re-evaluate, to examine deeply, whatever we think we understand about family ties. Balkun's poems captivate completely."
"the real wonder of the collection is the extended metaphor Balkun builds, simultaneously, about alienation, adoption, and those who feel like transplants in their own families. Highly recommended! "
"Wow! I loved reading this. You can tell Stacey knows what she's doing, and Dancing Girl Press really got extremely lucky with this chapbook. And just because I feel like it, I'm going to do a list of reasons why."
—Tiegan Dakin, Heart, What Art Are You?
Poems from Jackalope-Girl Learns to Speak
Eppur Si Muove
Advance Praise for Eppur Si Muove
"If physical science was a religion, these poems might be a hymnal. In part a powerful tribute to Galileo, whose defiant words provide the title, this book embraces the certainty of the physical universe, and it celebrates the will of human beings to seek truth, to pursue new ways of seeing. 'What makes the axis /of our bodies?' the poet asks. 'What/will remain?' But this is also an intensely personal book. The poet endures the deep grief of her father’s illness and death just as she enters into a bright new life with her love--and the tension between such beginnings and endings shapes a complex understanding of the physical universe. 'What does the magnetic field /push away?' she asks. 'I feel pulled/ in so many directions. . . .' Stacey Balkun, like Galileo, has the wisdom and the courage to see what is out there—even when what she finds offers no comfort—and she argues convincingly that we are a part of it rather than apart from it. This is a beautifully written and profoundly compelling book. "
—Corrinne Clegg Hales, author of To Make it Right
"With energy and gravity, Stacey Balkun’s chapbook Eppur Si Muove explores “the earth in your heartbeat,” the music of meteors, and the rainwater that falls from Saturn’s rings. Balkun’s marvelous poems move through space to gather the universe onto the page and reveal to how we live within our galaxy, sometimes 'unable to say or save all the great / half-broken things.' Spending time with Galileo, a woman who mapped the stars, astronaut Sally Ride, and the poet’s own father, one comes away more whole for having read this remarkable collection."
—Anna Leahy, author of Aperture and Tumor
Poems from Eppur Si Muove