In Slide to Unlock, Julie E. Bloemeke investigates how modern technology redirects our erotic and familial lives, including phones that open with the swipe of a finger and text messages that move the speaker toward startling self-discovery--the "bright trick of letters" that can ignite memory and desire. Each poem explores the sacred and sacrilege within the large and small worlds we navigate--the chimeric ache of a Georgia thunderstorm, the "unseen union" in a Monet painting, a girlhood bedroom in Toledo, a letter secreted in a Paris bookshop--to reveal how digital language and communication, while designed to create intimacy, can leave us adrift. With a lush, hypnotic writing style at once precise and liquid, romantic and ruthless, Bloemeke presents a topography of all the possible ways to carry another person--to "build /the membrane / body ourselves / into each other"--to unlock the lost art of face-to-face connection, and to free ourselves to be "so so bad in how [we] want."
PRAISE FOR SLIDE TO UNLOCK
"Is it possible for a lyric poet to bring the rawest complications of the adult heart, an orchestra-conductor's authority of syntax, a pristinely liberating imagination, and a virtual mixtape's range of voices, reference, and places together into a single, unified, seemingly narrative, utterly dazzling whole? Julie E. Bloemeke's Slide to Unlock confirms: it is." - Jane Hirshfield
"Julie E. Bloemeke's Slide to Unlock is a kind of philosophical love poetry, and in it, the poet locates in the body the satisfactions of the mind: 'There is no place but here, / submerged, the flower of me, / the flower of you, both coded to open, / but brought instead to salt, / converted to everlasting.' Lines like these spiral and unwind in Bloemeke's opus. This is a lovely book." - Jericho Brown, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry
Julie E. Bloemeke received her MFA through the Bennington Writing Seminars and an MA from the University of South Carolina. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and also in residency at the Bowers House Literary Center. Her poems have been widely anthologized and appeared in numerous literary journals including Gulf Coast, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, and others. Her ekphrastic work has been published and showcased in collaborations with the Toledo Museum of Art and Phoenix Museum of Art. A freelance writer, editor, and guest lecturer, her interviews have recently appeared in The AWP Writer's Chronicle and in Poetry International. Slide to Unlock was a finalist and semi-finalist for multiple book prizes including the May Swenson Poetry Prize in 2016. It is her first full-length poetry collection.