The Century: Poems


Product Details

$16.00  $14.72
Milkweed Editions
Publish Date
6.4 X 8.4 X 0.5 inches | 0.55 pounds

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About the Author

Éireann Lorsung is the author of two previous collections of poems: Her book, and Music for Landing Planes By, which was named a New and Noteworthy collection by Poets & Writers. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 2016. Since completing an MFA at the University of Minnesota, Lorsung has studied printmaking and drawing at Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice and taught high school in rural France. While living in Belgium, she ran a micropress called MIEL Books and a residency space called Dickinson House for writers and artists. From 2017-2020 she was Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing - Nonfiction at the University of Maine, Farmington.


"Éireann Lorsung's The Century looks back and locates its necessary ethical work in the ongoing half-life of our irradiated past, seeking nothing less than to own up to, if not reconcile, the complexities and complicities of our moral failures. Those failures, from the bloody history of racism to the violent light of nuclear war, lurk in us as does a radioactive isotope, decaying us from within. Lorsung knows beauty cannot end our responsibility, and it is not beauty these poems seek. They search instead for something vastly more important, the ethics hidden in aesthetics, a realization by which we might find some means to alter our awful ways, to stop ourselves from wielding force against another, to stall the force that uses us for its tool, to not let our own hands become hammers breaking themselves apart. Let us be honest. Let us be sane. This book is our textbook for the education we most need." --Dan Beachy-Quick

Praise for Her book

"In Her book, Éireann Lorsung inhabits the uncertain and fluid boundaries between the body and the world, the self and the other. For the poet, the word searches out the image and gives it substance. For the reader, these poems offer a materiality of their own: '[The body's] speech packs around it like wasp / paper. Speaking a thin, permanent / archive.' The poems in this volume breach the ordinary parameters of space, time, and sense perception. To experience them is to occupy the space between in a surprising and yet subtle way." --Kathleen Jesme

"These poems believe in the miraculous--part primordial, part philosophical, part whimsical. Lorsung goes places other poets just hope to inhabit--breaking form--creating new. She shows so much about beauty without abstracting it to an idea. This is a perfect blend of body and soul; and the kind of writing poetry sometimes dreams of being." --Washington Independent Review of Books

Praise for Music for Landing Planes By

"Éireann Lorsung's Music for Landing Planes By presents us with a beguiling voice that is light without being weightless....The lyrical nature of her composition and the surprises that hand at the end of her verses make this assortment of delights eminently re-readable. Ms. Lorsung's young triumphs deserve much more attention than they've yet received."--Washington Times

"The reward of her collection is her celebration of all physicality, all flesh and construction. She is attentive wherever the body and its tools meet... Her poems unite bravery and delicacy." -- Georgia Review

"Music for Landing Planes By is, above all, a testament to artisanship, a belief in carefully crafting not just poems, but clothing, a cake, a piece of music.... This collection is a celebration of making things, and so a valuing of them and the world. It is ebullient, generous, tender verse." --Michael McKimm

"In this amazing first book, Éireann Lorsung enters deeply into the everyday--only to emerge awestruck, open and generous. In her hands both the world and the word are transformed into something radiant." --Nick Flynn

"Éireann Lorsung's debut volume, Music for Landing Planes By, is a young woman's love song to the planet. Images flock from a vivid pastoral world, uncarded fleece, wrens in thatch, chaff, lathe and hasp, joining the speaker in her effort to stitch prayer and dream, city and country, into one shimmering fabric of ardor."--Leslie Adrienne Miller