Lisa Hiton's AFTERFEAST grapples with big stuff--painful history, gorgeous and fraught geographies, elusive sexual identity--in an authentic, dauntless voice that lends to these large subjects a gripping intimacy. To read these poems is to stand among haunted ruins on 'the hot slab of history, ' to witness different kinds of survival, how disappeared and durable spaces endure alike in time, and in a mind. I envy readers their first entry into the ripe world of this book. A stunningly mature debut--symphonic and bracing and profound.--Maggie Dietz
Poetry. Jewish Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. Women's Studies.
About the Author
Lisa Hiton is a poet, filmmaker, and teacher. She’s the author of the chapbook Variation on Testimony and her work has been published or is forthcoming in Lambda Literary, New South, Linebreak, The Paris-American, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and The Common. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Boston University and an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University. Lisa is a Senior Poetry Editor at The Adroit Journal.
“These brilliant poems are covertly grounded in metaphysical questions, such as: Where is the line between one’s ever-evolving consciousness and the only slightly more static ‘material’ world? And the brain, is that behavior or matter? And love, what’s that? To explore these questions, vast categories and fluid distinctions are fractured and then woven back together to create an oracular, constructed self—a like-minded speaker, who, like us, has five senses as well as countless more that extend perception into other realms. This speaker lives in a dream world of her own making that is set, like a body inside its skin, in the real world that chance has granted her. She—American, Jewish, lesbian—lives inside history and dislocation, inside death and its sister, persistence (“rotgut of pine needles. / Bees do a deathhurdle over the edge, yet I do not transform”). In ‘Kavala,’ titled for the ancient Greek city that was once known as Neapolis (new city) the moon says: ‘I // tell you / what this silence stands for’. The voice of the timeless lyric moon is the poet’s voice. Her voice becomes the voice of Time talking to Space about what it is to be human. And yet, in the world of these poems, as in our world, we also have Formica, Pringles, melting butter and a matching yellow swimsuit. In other words, we have all the realities: the real, the surreal, the unreal, and the existential irreal. We need them all because any self, poetic construct or flesh-and-blood, inhabits all of these and stays busy trying to make sense of the ways in which they intersect.”
— from the Judge’s Citation by Mary Jo Bang