Field Guide for Accidents: Poems (National Poetry Series #9) (Paperback)

Field Guide for Accidents: Poems (National Poetry Series #9) By Albert Abonado, Mahogany L. Browne (Foreword by) Cover Image
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SELECTED BY MAHOGANY L. BROWNE FOR THE NATIONAL POETRY SERIES

"you showed him your teeth, you dared him to look into your mouth to see the metal bands straightening your jaw into an American smile."—from Field Guide for Accidents


An excerpt from Mahogany L. Browne's statement announcing the 2024 National Poetry Series winner:

Field Guide for Accidents begins with a prayer and carries us through nature among the wings of birdsong and a mother’s healing psalms. Each poem betwixt breath and faith. Faith in God and faith in the loss of one’s identity. The line breaks and the lemons illuminated. The insistence of a family silence and the temptation to follow the sound of one’s internal weeping, all a joyous unearthing.

The text, both scientific in fact and devout in humanity, wields the power to expose the flesh of how death, god, and blueberries all have a song of their own. The author writes with a deft hand towards the knowing and the inarticulation of feeling; the practice of balance and bodies off-axis; oscillating between memory and rememory. This collection is a declaration. Small wolves, horses, trees, honeybees, rice, blessings, and ground beef. The specificity of living coaxes its audience through each section as dutifully as a theater’s usher.

The delicate handiwork of archiving a family’s history without fear of dishonoring a bloodline. Each poem is a piece in the puzzle in the act of metamorphization or the humble art of praise or the study of ecopoetics or the undoing of our greatest worries.

In this collection couplets turn into family photo albums and odes reverberate like fine-tuned pianos. The author is playing us a song, one that anyone can sing along to if there is a pulse beneath your skin. The author explores the restrictive nature of respectability while writing about intimacy and rediscovers racism in the fraught hands of friends.

There isn’t one way into this collection without exposing your own wounds. So lean in, reader. Loosen the neck tie from your imagination’s curve and watch Abonado sculpt human from stone.

About the Author


Albert Abonado is the author of Jaw (Sundress Publications). He holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. His writing has appeared in the Boston Review, Colorado Review, Poetry Northwest, The Margins, Hobart, Waxwing, Triquarterly, and others. Albert currently teaches creative writing at SUNY Geneseo and the Rochester Institute for Technology. He is the former Director of Adult Programs at Writers & Books.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780807020517
ISBN-10: 0807020516
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication Date: October 22nd, 2024
Pages: 104
Language: English
Series: National Poetry Series