Book of Levitations
by Jenny Sadre-Orafai and Anne Champion
$18.00 | January 2020
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“Book of Levitations offers up spells for roadkill and gravedigger’s shovels, for moths, hives, and sex, for corsets and underwire bras: ‘You’ll always overfill/ what’s made to hold you,” an image of boundaries defied and bodies in rebellion that characterizes these numinous poems. Conventional beauty standards are challenged—even the chandeliers are ‘bored with their glints,’ and mortality is defied, as roadkill is revived ‘when it’s done being dead.’ This collaboration between Champion and Sadre-Orafai infuses everyday objects with astonishment by defamiliarizing them. Moths are stand-in earrings. A girl, ordered to smile at her harasser, is told to do it but to ‘make sure it cocks like a gun.’ In a spell for a new house, we are urged to not ‘let guests in with mud on their shadows.’ These poems protect and empower. They restore language to its proper magic.” —Diane Seuss, author of Four-Legged Girl and Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl
“This collection is full of ghosts. And they’re the kind of ghosts that you want to stay with you forever. The first poem, “Predictions,” starts off with a perfect line: ‘Like boys, you too were born with power—,’ illustrating that this book isn’t for someone who doesn’t want to throw out all the societal gender norms. Each poem is a gift, focusing on a moment in time, your body levitating over and underneath and around the poems. The poems are spells, rituals, prayers, calls to all of us, inviting us all to take part in the poems, to be inside the pens, the poems’ characters. This is a book I will read again and again, and constantly feel ‘the sting.’” —Joanna C. Valente, author of Marys of the Sea and editor of A Shadow Map: Writing by Survivors of Sexual Assault
“In Book of Levitations, Anne Champion and Jenny Sadre-Orafai have created not a book but a world, one whose rules are ever-changing and always fierce. ‘You’ll have light/ but it won’t be in necklaces, broken/ chains tinkling in the dark,’ they write, and they mean it—the poems in this collection are spells and decrees for a life after the expected, neat, clean life. Champion and Sadre-Orafai claim ‘there’s endless power/ in anything that’s been consumed,’ and these poems prove it. They take expected ruin and turn it into glory and survival. There’s no silencing the speakers in Book of Levitations, and there’s no predicting what they might do with their surprising powers of resiliency and grit.” —Ruth Baumann, author of Parse and Retribution Binary
About the Authors
Anne Champion is the author of The Good Girl is Always a Ghost (Black Lawrence Press, 2018), She Saints & Holy Profanities (Quarterly West, 2019), Reluctant Mistress (Gold Wake Press, 2013), Book of Levitations (Trembling Pillow Press, 2019), and The Dark Length Home (Noctuary Press, 2017). Her poems have appeared in Verse Daily, Prairie Schooner, Salamander, Crab Orchard Review, Epiphany Magazine, The Pinch, The Greensboro Review, New South, and elsewhere. She was a 2009 Academy of American Poet’s Prize recipient, a Barbara Deming Memorial grant recipient, a 2015 Best of the Net winner, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She’s a Professor of English at Collin College.
Jenny Sadre-Orafai is the author of Malak and Paper, Cotton, Leather. Her poetry has appeared in Cream City Review, Ninth Letter, The Cortland Review, Hotel Amerika, The Pinch, Crab Orchard Review, and other journals. Her prose has appeared in Los Angeles Review, The Rumpus, South Loop Review, Fourteen Hills, and other journals. She is a co-founding editor of Josephine Quarterly, Professor of English at Kennesaw State University, and Executive Director of Georgia Writers Association.