13th Balloon

13th Balloon

Book - 2020
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O, The Oprah Magazine, "42 Best LGBTQ Books of 2020"
NPR's Favorite Books of 2020

In his fourth collection,13th Balloon, Mark Bibbins turns his candid eye to the American AIDS crisis. With quiet consideration and dark wit, Bibbins addresses the majority of his poems to Mark Crast, his friend and lover who died from AIDS at the early age of 25. Every broken line and startling linguistic turn grapples with the genre of elegy: what does it mean to experience personal loss, Bibbins seems to ask, amidst a greater societal tragedy? The answer is blurred-- amongst unforeseen disease, intolerance, and the intimateconsequences of mismanaged power. Perhaps the most unanswerable question arrives when Bibbins writes, "For me elegy/ is like a Ouija planchette/ something I can barely touch/ as I try to make it/ say what I want it to say." And while we are still searching for the words that might begin an answer, Bibbins helps us understand that there is endless value in continuing--through both joy and grief--to wonder.
Publisher: Port Townsend, Washington : Copper Canyon Press, [2020]
ISBN: 9781556595776
1556595778
Branch Call Number: 811.6 B4709T 2020
Characteristics: 93 pages ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: Thirteenth balloon

Opinion

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The achingly beautiful fourth collection from Bibbins (They Don't Kill You Because They're Hungry, They Kill You Because They're Full) is a book-length elegy to a lover who died of AIDS-related complications in 1992. -- Publishers Weekly


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