By Christina Lydia
If you would’ve told me a few years ago, Six Rivers Press published what can best be described as a post-apocalyptic poetry book, I wouldn’t have believed you (“the post-apocalyptic genre is strongly associated with fiction, thereby it’s closely tied to works such as The 5th Wave or something” my snooty nerd-self would’ve replied).
I must first say that the post-apocalyptic genre is one of my favorites, on-par with dystopian and fantasy. Post-apocalyptic and dystopian categories of storytelling seem to have a psychological drama to them that I can best describe as a type of horror. Perhaps my semi-morbid nature is automatically drawn to these types of stories because they hold up to a level of reality that I think Edgar Allan Poe best described as “exquisite horror.” Without getting too ahead of myself, I also have to say that I’ve never really considered myself a fan of horror film (chainsaw nastiness, the grudge mouth baa — not for me) although I do appreciate horror differently (and without drawing on a cathartic release) because I view it in everything.
All Night In The New Country by Miriam Bird Greenberg is the post-apocalyptic poetry book that I didn’t know existed until a few years ago. I rediscovered it recently and I remembered how much I enjoyed it. Before that, it served as an inspiration when writing my short story, “Belly-Full and Tender Loins” — specifically the poem “I Passed Three Girls Killing A Goat” (thank you, Miriam Bird Greenberg, for creating such a vivid world that gave rise to my imaginings and that opened the possibility for my to create my own story).
The book takes us through a journey of survival, competition, grotesque happenings, and memories. We read about what may have happened to what was once our country; we read about how the landscape has morphed into a barren, lifeless patch. We understand that many people have died and that life for humans is a struggle. Overall, I truly love this book; it still has the ability to surprise me, especially because Greenberg is a natural storyteller. The fact that this is a book of poems doesn’t matter. All Night In The New Country is a perfect read for fiction lovers as well.
About The Author
Miriam Bird Greenberg is the author, most recently, of In the Volcano’s Mouth, which won the 2015 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize and is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press in the autumn of 2016.
She has been recognized with fellowships from the NEA, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and the Poetry Foundation.
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Author image and bio from the author’s ‘About’ page. Book image from the publisher’s website.