bonehouse by Erika Brumett

bonehouse cover small.jpg
bonehouse cover small.jpg

bonehouse by Erika Brumett


41 pages
© 2018
ISBN: 978-0-9992263-2-2
Book Design: Christopher Nelson
Cover Art: Diego Max
Printed on recycled paper

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Praise for bonehouse

In bonehouse Erika Brumett tours the bodies of the living and the dead, tenderly renaming parts and people, pulling them closer, painting them as portraiture, finding pleasure in the living body. Through biology, anatomy, and history these poems inhabit science and parascience—always comfortable on the brink, wreathed in paradox, and “alive with decay.” Brumett rejoices in the past and the persistent, “Praise this—at last—the septic, the steadfast,” returning the reader again and again to the body in all its malformations, odd pieces and purposes, and, ultimately, its capability for bliss.

—Rachel Morgan, Poetry Editor of the North American Review

The body and its curios populate Erika Brumett’s bonehouse, a space where living and dead biological artifacts commingle. Brumett’s formal dexterity moves with morbid delight and imagination, considering lost panties in the graveyard or her deceased father’s hairpiece with a gleeful, surgical madness of precision. Like a zombie in a room full of formaldehyde-pickled brains, I kept muttering “give me more.” This collection is an insane delight.

—D. A. Powell, author of Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys

In bonehouse the focus is on the keening edge of mortality, the memento mori cutting through the pleasures of the body, and the natural world which this poet celebrates in all its proliferation and decay. These are poems of vivid, precise and inventive language informed by science and scientific lore both wonderful and weird: poems that contemplate a rabbit’s foot amulet (“the dumb violence of luck”), human cadavers arranged in a museum diorama as if playing poker (“scalped // to skulls, skinned for exhibition”); the perhaps-vestigial human appendix (“poor vesicle, toxic and scalpeled ... the intestines’ overstayed houseguest”); and the humorous pathos and indignities of human consort (“Panties Left in a Cemetery”). As Erika Brumett declares, “To Name is to Own,” and this poet clearly owns all that she names in this assured and accomplished debut.

—Carolyne Wright, author of This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems; and lead editor of Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace

Erika Brumett

Erika Brumett's novel, Scrap Metal Sky, was published in 2016 by Shape&Nature Press.