Shira Dentz

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Classical beauty depends on symmetry, and our love for symmetry is organic and essential to our survival as individuals and as a species, reproductively (signaling health in a mate) and otherwise. In this work, I engage with notions of form and beauty that I, as an artist and a social being, have inherited and tacitly acknowledge or actively work against. Now, to return full circle to consistency, I leave off with another excerpt, but from an earlier work—

“Nothing to do but let the form of things take over.”
“Just sitting on my wrist feeling stupid feeling blue the sky white across a band of sunlight no gauze the trees making v’s with their arms ~ want to look at the paper now. there’ll be a story about egypt. the people are free but the media blitz makes it controlled. free, controlled. when the snow clears i can see cars on roads didn’t know existed. keep eating clementines. they’re so tiny and tasty. the tree shaves against the window. clouds white hair.”
SHIRA DENTZ is the author of three books, black seeds on a white dish, door of thin skins, and how do i net thee (forthcoming), and one chapbook, Leaf Weather. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets’ Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poem and Cecil Hemley Memorial Awards, Electronic Poetry Review’s Discovery Award, and Painted Bride Quarterly’s Poetry Prize. She was Drunken Boat’s Reviews Editor from 2011-2016 and now curates reviews for Tarpaulin Sky as well as Drunken Boat’s blog feature, “What I’m Reading Now…,” and teaches creative writing at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.


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Essay Press is pleased to announce the two winners of the 2016 Essay Press Open Book Contest judged by Carla Harryman: Litany for the Long Moment by Mary-Kim Arnold and Of Sphere by Karla Kelsey, which will be published in Fall 2017.