The Gaffer


Product Details

$18.95  $17.62
Arktoi Books
Publish Date
6.9 X 7.9 X 0.4 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Celeste Gainey is the author the chapbook, In the land of speculation & seismography (Seven Kitchens Press, 2011), runner-up for the 2010 Robin Becker Prize. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in BLOOM, 5AM, and Columbia Poetry Review. Graduating with a BFA in Film & Television from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, as well as earning an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Carlow University, Gainey has spent over thirty-five years working with light--as a gaffer for motion pictures and as an architectural lighting designer.


"In bursts of language, these poems tell the story of a girl who wants to grow up to be a man who grows up to be a gaffer, lighting the set of every movie you've ever loved. They swagger. They sashay. They strut like a queer teenager trying on her first pair of men's Levis and liking what she sees in the mirror: a human being in love with the 'brute arc light' of the world. I raise a toast of solidarity to the feminine power and presence of the GAFFER. Gainey's voice knows how to fill a room."
--Dorianne Laux

"the GAFFER breathes poems of obsession, the relentless pursuit of an idea, and presence. We hear the compelling lexicon of light: 'baby legs, ' 'horsecock, ' 'inkie, ' 'brute arc'--and a voice arises: 'there are dwellings made of future'. In this stunning collection by Celeste Gainey, we realize we are in future--in the world of horizontal air, where the gaffer travels East to West: St. Mark's Place to Sunset Boulevard and back. Inside this movement, the body combusts into an original song of gender, desire, and place: alleys and canyons of ignition, blazing."
--Jan Beatty

"Celeste Gainey's astonishing debut, the GAFFER, is a book about light: how it finds us, changes us, and shapes who we are and how we see. It's also a book about the body--sexual, other--'looking for combustion.' In Gainey's world, 'gaffer' and 'poet' are interchangeable: her poems light the world at perfect angles, even our 'little failures, ' and cast back to us our own lives: radiantly refigured, radically changed."
--Aaron Smith