With poems that combine the self-scrutiny of Philip Larkin with the measure of Elizabeth Bishop, Amy M. Clark burnishes her first collection, Stray Home, with exquisite understatement and formal control. Sweeter than Larkin and more intimate than Bishop, these poems address the suppressed pain and shame of living as a childless woman in a world of mothers, the dissociation attendant on depression and fraught family relationships, and the search for a sense of belonging in the face of dislocation. Stray Home cuts deeply to discover the buried emotions and insights universal to all suffering and compassionate human beings.
“Clark is able to imbue our small, usually overlooked moments with unexpected grandeur. A quiet humor is employed in service of her twin gifts, imagination and metaphor. This is an accomplished, deft, and important debut.”—Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Tender Hooks and judge