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Why SIX? Because the collection is comprised of six poems. And because the perspective in this collection shifts like a kaleidoscope, each image viewable from six possible angles. And because these poems, like the prevalent hexagons of the natural world—honeycombs, for instance—derive strength from their compression and their accumulation. “I call six times just to be sure you heard,” this speaker announces on the first page. These poems are also the six calls—calls to attention, calls to action, calls to account for something of our own. The speaker in SIX is insistent, scrupulous, and unflinching as she plumbs six essential aspects of human experience that have shaped us all: art, language, desire, vocation, faith, and life-changing love.
About the Author
Julie Marie Wade is the author of four collections of poetry, including When I Was Straight (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2014) and Postage Due (White Pine Press, 2010), and four collections of lyric nonfiction, including Catechism: A Love Story (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures (Bywater Books, 2014; Colgate University Press, 2010). She has received an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council, a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir. She teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami.
“To wonder is to cogitate, to entertain doubt, to stand in awe, and Six is a book of wonder, and of wonders. ‘I think a word is a room, with a skylight,’ Wade writes, and what doesn’t she wonder over and about in those rooms and through those skylights? Nancy Drew, letters to God, the nature of language and of science, The Sound of Music and the sound of words. The wonder is how intricately it all coheres, phrases and images and motifs disappearing, recurring (startling deja vus proliferate as in a fugue) as Wade gathers language, mind, and body and lets them reverberate and multiply. ‘What is the square root of wonderful?’ she asks. This book is that answer.”
“These beautiful Six by Julie Marie Wade are six connected love (of language) stories (of truth), lovingly narrated by a lovable and quirky protagonist. Or, these are six richly exploratory essays, at once impromptu and retrospective, in which Wade leads us wonderingly down six intricate rabbit holes, and there we are, caught in the spiral with absolutely no desire to stop dreaming. Or, these Six are actually one incantatory poem in the shape of six collages where everything is relevant and equal and everything spreads out before us in metaphor and good will and we ourselves are swept up in the poetry and the life of it, we’re a part of the brilliance and the humanity of it. Thus, this book is a gift.”
—Maureen Seaton, author of Fibonacci Batman: New and Selected Poems (1991-2011)
“I chose SIX [as winner of the AROHO To The Lighthouse Poetry Prize] not in spite of but because of its discursiveness, its willingness to wander through the poem with technique at hand, but also a permit to allow both substantive and ephemeral material to wander into the field of the poem and exit without a conclusive goal in mind. It’s an accumulative project, inclusive, and busy about the business of sifting and sorting through this thing we call life that we carry out in this creation we call a body on this tumultuous blue orb we call earth.”