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CLMP Publishers Literature & Fiction - Poetry

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The Acrobatic Company of the Invisible

ISBN: 9781930781634
Binding: Paperback
Author: George Looney
Pages: 94
Trim: 6 x 9 inches
Published: 08/01/2023

Advance praise for The Acrobatic Company of the Invisible:

"If George Looney's The Acrobatic Company of the Invisible beautifully offers for our consideration a series of meetings, of light and grass, of figures in a photograph, of instants of space and time, it is above all a study of missed connections, of one awake and one asleep, of distances between word and meaning, the present and the absent, a face and a memory. And yet finally, throughout these poems there is music, there are sparrows, a moon that comes and goes, and the grace to counterbalance loss and departure." —Nancy Eimers, author of Human Figures

"George Looney has the uncanny ability to make readers smile while leading them through a valley littered with loss and a longing that 'haunts us more//than the dead do.' Wryly observing that 'we keep [the dead] with us, still/and outside time,' Looney offers music as a source of consolation to both the living and the ghosts living among us: 'An ibis calls out this morning,/its song something/both the dead and the living love.' Looney chooses not to succumb to sorrow, and the birds he summons in these achingly beautiful poems become metaphors for faith—'the faith/that lets sparrows leap into air.'"  —Nancy Naomi Carlson, author of An Infusion of Violets

"In this collection, Looney dances as if no one were watching as he turns longing, sorrow, and loss into prayer. He has a gift for light—'Everything/bejeweled this morning, as if remembered,' 'this woman's bare shoulder/illumined by a four-in-the-morning moon' —and an ear for birds—wrens, doves and starlings that sing baroque, and for the way, like them, a trapeze artist leaps into thin air. And if that weren't enough, he offers us such seemingly effortless phrases as 'the stink/and nervous ruin of his cigarette,' and 'the rush and stuttering of wings.' Go see the acrobats. You'll be glad you did." —Lola Haskins, author of Asylum: Improvisations on John Clare

This is a book of ghost stories. Not the eyebrow-raising type streamed to our digital screens, but the specters of our pasts, conjured, not with joined hands or Ouija boards, but with that most clever of shape-shifters...memory. This is Looney at the top of his game! —Frank Paino.

"In these stunning, spiritually powerful poems, George Looney does us readers a favor by becoming the voice inside us all, talking humbly and declaratively. Reading this book made me relax inside such a paradoxical stretch. It helped me. It liberated me." —Ken Meisel, psychotherapist and author.


George Looney's books include the recently-released Ode to the Earth in Translation, The Worst May Be Over, which won the Elixir Press Fiction Award, The Itinerate Circus: New and Selected Poems 1995-2020, the Red Mountain Press Poetry Award-winning What Light Becomes: The Turner Variations, and the novel Report from a Place of Burning which was co-winner of The Leapfrog Press Fiction Award. He is the founder of the BFA in Creative Writing Program at Penn State Erie, editor-in-chief of the international literary journal Lake Effect, translation editor of Mid-American Review, and co-founder of the original Chautauqua Writers' Festival.