You might think the magic in Emily Carr’s Name Your Bird Without a Gun would be in its Tarot-generated love story, and sure, that’s sufficiently magical, but the real magic in this book is in its opulent and sultry renderings of nature’s movements, of the world just being its ravishing self, captured in dazzling and nimble verse that will wreck you worse than your petty little broken heart.
—Lily Hoang, author of The Evolutionary Revolution and A Bestiary
Name Your Bird Without a Gun is at its most tantalizing when surreal landscapes are experienced as bodily knowledge—“Hydrogen & oxygen fall through trees. / Fat clouds & strange lightbulbs. / Fish shaped like tattered stars. Iridescent bacteria / in the sediment of letters”—and the cost of rebellion is a chilling intimacy—“She would like to kill herself but she’s told / she must go on, at any cost.” Carr’s fabulism electrifies these uncanny poems, but in the end, it is Liberty’s clear resolve that instructs us: “Across / her grief she writes left to right: go on: finish / those years that might have belonged to someone else.”
—Dorothy Barresi, author of What We Did While We Made More Guns
Melodic, sublime, and sewn by the threads of the Tarot’s wisdom, Name Your Bird Without a Gun transmutes the Fool’s Journey into one full of “hyperbole, hope & promise.” The book even seems to have an intrinsic power for bibliomancy.
—Benebell Wen, author of Holistic Tarot
Emily Carr’s marvelous shape-shifting, reality-slipping poems truly embody the essence of Tarot—not a hard and fast “prediction” of events but a way to explore the magic—and deep painful reality—of existence. As a “Tarot Romance-In-Verse” the poems can be said to form a narrative, but it is the same narrative as a Tarot reading, one that constantly slips into something else, quantum shifts of something else, or as Emily puts it, “whole worlds bleeding in dreams of forest—”
—Rachel Pollack, author of Tarot Wisdom and The Beatrix Gates
Emily Carr writes murder mysteries that turn into love poems that are sometimes (by her McSweeney’s editors, for example) called divorce poems. These days, she’s Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the New College of Florida. Her third poetry collection, whosoever has let a minotaur enter them, or a sonnet—, is available from McSweeney’s. It inspired a beer of the same name, now available at the Ale Apothecary. Emily is also creator of the world’s first poetry boardgame, Dr. Carr’s Word Forage. Learn more at www.ifshedrawsadoor.com.