Something Bright, Then Holes: Poems (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

In the eleven years since Something Bright, Then Holes was originally published by Soft Skull Press, Maggie Nelson has established herself as one of the most acclaimed poets and essayists writing today. This re-release feels intimate, almost unfairly so—like your favorite genius is working in the next room and her door is ajar, so you keep finding reasons to walk down the hall. The poems in this collection drop hints of what would come, introducing themes and characters expanded upon in Bluets and The Argonauts. As ever, Nelson's writing hits the trickiest notes: grit without hardness, and melancholy without pity. -Shawn

— From Summer Booknotes 2018


These days
the world seems to split up
into those who need to dredge
and those who shrug their shoulders
and say, It's just something
that happened.
While Maggie Nelson refers here to a polluted urban waterway, the Gowanus Canal, these words could just as easily describe Nelson's incisive approach to desire, heartbreak, and emotional excavation in Something Bright, Then Holes. Whether writing from the debris-strewn shores of a contaminated canal or from the hospital room of a friend, Nelson charts each emotional landscape she encounters with unparalleled precision and empathy. Since its publication in 2007, the collection has proven itself to be both a record of a singular vision in the making as well as a timeless meditation on love, loss, and--perhaps most frightening of all--freedom.

About the Author

Maggie Nelson is the author of nine books of poetry and prose, including the National Books Critics Circle Award winner The Argonauts, The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning, Bluets, The Red Parts, and Jane: A Murder. She has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction, an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, an Innovative Literature Fellowship from Creative Capital, and an Arts Writers Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation. In 2016, she was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship. She lives in Los Angeles.

Praise For…

“Nelson’s newest collection continues the genre dodging of her second poetry collection, Jane: A Mystery [sic]. Narrative, sentimental and self-indulgent, this third collection risks many possible poetic pitfalls and comes through unscathed through sheer intensity of and commitment to her voice. Over three sections, Nelson employs a consistent narrator, recognizable settings, recurring characters and a few structures closely resembling plots. But it’s not fiction. And though each section also has lines, stanzas, and lyric musicality, it’s poetry only in a very loose sense. Instead, it’s a stunning collection of real-world stories shadowed by the netherworld of poetry.”—Publishers Weekly
Product Details
ISBN: 9781593762308
ISBN-10: 1593762305
Publisher: Soft Skull Press
Publication Date: June 12th, 2018
Pages: 96
Language: English