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Finalist in the 2009 Paterson Poetry Prize.


The dark and beautiful third collection from Jill Bialosky is a book about the intrusion of eros, art, and the imagination on ordinary life.

The lover who whispers "Is it still snowing? ... Will you stay with me?" in the first poem reappears throughout the book in different guises—sometimes seemingly real, at other times as muse, doppelgänger, or dream. In "The Seduction," as the lovers stand to watch a house fire—"gorgeous, dazzling, / the orange and reds of such ruin"—the poem becomes a study in the nature of reality, selfhood, and the different levels of consciousness we inhabit. Evoking Penelope and Orpheus and Eurydice, Bialosky explores how desire and the act of creation can both threaten the self and bring us to a powerful self-understanding.

In Intruder— her most mesmerizing gathering of poems yet—Bialosky has captured not only the fleeting truths and pleasures of passion but also its mysterious dangers.

Don't be afraid. Come closer.
It's bath time. The boy's in the tub,
father's shaving, mother is dressed
in her evening wear: black silk slip,
high heels, leaning on the tub's edge.

Look into the mother's eyes. What truth do they belie?

from "Saturday Night"