Read I, Afterlife: Essay in Mourning Time by Kristin Prevallet Online


Poetry. Essays. Much admired by her contemporaries for her experiments in poetic form, Kristin Prevallet now turns those gifts to the most vulnerable moments of her own life, and in doing so, has produced a testament that is both disconsolate and powerful. Meditating on her father's unexplained suicide, Prevallet alternates between the clinical language of the crime reportPoetry. Essays. Much admired by her contemporaries for her experiments in poetic form, Kristin Prevallet now turns those gifts to the most vulnerable moments of her own life, and in doing so, has produced a testament that is both disconsolate and powerful. Meditating on her father's unexplained suicide, Prevallet alternates between the clinical language of the crime report and the lyricism of the elegy. Throughout, she offers a defiant refusal of east consolations or redemptions. Driven by "the need to extend beyond the personal and out the toward the intolerable present," Prevallet brings herself and her readers to the chilling but transcendent place where, as she promises, "darkness has its own resolutions." According to Fanny Howe, here elegy and essay "converge and there is left a beautiful sense of the poetic itself as all that is left to comfort a person facing a catastrophic loss." "This is the quietest and most intimate book by one of our best poets"--Forest Gander....

Title : I, Afterlife: Essay in Mourning Time
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780979118913
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 63 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

I, Afterlife: Essay in Mourning Time Reviews

  • Ivonne Rovira
    2019-04-16 21:37

    Modernist poet Kristin Prevallet’s father, beset by depression, shot himself in a parking lot; over six years, she wrote the essays and poems that make up this slim volume to help herself through the grieving process. Very touching.

  • Joe
    2019-04-10 14:22

    Poetry and dense essayistic paragraphs are blended along with distorted, ashy photographs.The pointillism of "The lack is consumed with his thoughts. / I now believe that this world is nothing more than a means of being in another. / There is the orchestra, the lawn, and the buzz" (6)Gives way to prose determined to make definitive statements about grief, society, and memory: "Putting a form to something that is absent (i.e. writing a poem to stand in for the emptiness felt when someone close to you dies) happens in the social realm as well. There are monuments..."(52).The poetry to give you the raw edges of grief, how rangy it makes one's thinking. Much of the first half of the book is moving. The prose of the second half serves to locate and quarantine grief, make pronouncements about it. (And I found the idea of a private shrine, a way to physically manifest grief in a container that can shift and change as opposed to the monumental nature of a headstone as fascinating, useful).But, in a way, the essays shut down the poetry, provide too handy of a map to navigating its ambiguities. If I say the form doesn't work here I worry that this is simply my bias for poetry and language which enacts instead of language which meditates upon....Perhaps I am reading this in the wrong spirit. In many ways, this reads as its own kind of guidebook / counter-pamphlet for those grieving or seeking to "come to terms" w/grief (or, at points, those seeking to think about the writing out of grief, "the elegy" --"Afterlife is a tidy package that presents a simple truth. Elegy is the complexity of what is actually left behind"), so it is of course direct/directive. I dunno.

  • M. M. Sana
    2019-04-17 18:16

    In the past year, I have carried this book with me everywhere I went. I LOVE IT!!! It is full of beatiful words webbed together to create a heart-breaking prose and poetry. This book is a window into the author's heart as she is healing after her father's loss... After her father's suicide. The first time I read this book, I was in tears, with a giant knot in my gut.... I felt Prevallet's pain and loss. Perhaps I related to her pain... Then, I found myself reading the book again and again... and finally, I started carrying it with me everywhere.I had the pleasure of meeting the author and listened to her read out of the book. We talked for a long time about loss and healing. I walked away with a gift from her - a signed transcript - an un published poem. The kind and gentle spirit she had, seems to be the result of her experience and her healing. Overall, this is a great book. Everyone that likes poetry (contemporary poetry) should read it at least once. For the non-poetry lovers, you should rad it because it is based on a real experience!

  • Rui Carlos da Cunha
    2019-04-01 16:29

    With this work of lyrical non-fiction, Kristin Prevallet has written a moving elegy to the suicide of her father in much the same way that Roland Barthes grieved the death of his mother in his stellar text, Camera Lucida. She does for contemporary poetry what Barthes does for photography, but much less explicitly. Hers is not a critique of poetic style, but manifests its style lyrically in essay form. Her book reminds me of Beth Bachmann's Temper in its ability to grip the reader when confronting the death of a loved one. Prevallet is not excessively mournful, not lugubrious, but measured in her writing, as she studies the meaning elegy has created in her life. Kudos to Essay Press for publishing such an excellent piece for their small collection of publications.

  • Robert
    2019-03-27 20:32

    I had to read this book for class, and was not expecting to find much in its 63 pages but was wonderfully mistaken. I found many thought provoking and interesting passages in this book. I live in Denver, and will never again look towards Littleton without thinking, "Someone's father died there, he drove to a park and shot himself in the face." Written during a time when the author's mind was shattered, the book translates suffering, pain, emptiness, and offers a view of the world through the cloudy lens of grief.

  • Kasey Jueds
    2019-03-23 19:20

    I want and need to read this book again. It's very challenging, both intellectually and emotionally, but also deeply rewarding, and I suspect that it would really reward multiple readings. Didn't have time to read it straight through, as I'd have liked, but am going to try to do this. I'm struck by the author's courage... in making a book so unlike any other I've read, in struggling visibly to tell the truth about her father's death, in not settling for any easy answers or forms.

  • Megan
    2019-04-21 16:40

    I could only read a few pages of this book at a time; the subject matter and its handling were so overwhelming. Prevallet confronts grief and loss with such courage, and her unwavering poetic eye demands to know how language consoles, if it can at all. What an exacting cut into the heart of being human and being an artist, sharp and deadly accurate.

  • Jil
    2019-03-22 19:40

    There's no way to criticize a book with such serious subject matter without coming off as a huge asshole, so I'll just say that a lot of this failed to keep my interest, and I thought the introduction explaining the details of her father's death does the rest of this a disservice, since it all seems redundant after that.

  • Crystal Vales
    2019-04-09 18:35

    I must admit the book cover sold me, but what is inside still haunts me. The emotional clarity of grief becomes tangible in this small tome about the struggle to overcome her father's suicide. A brilliant elegy.

  • Dennis
    2019-03-26 20:12

    This is a must, and is part of my MFA thesis reading stack. In other words, I'm concentrating and carrying five books around and this is one of them. That's how _good_ it is.

  • Joe Ahearn
    2019-03-24 19:20

    Formally amazing and emotionally wrenching. The poem as essay as investigation as vehicle for the deepest grief.

  • Nicolas Destino
    2019-04-05 16:30

    Too beautiful to describe right now.

  • Nicole
    2019-04-10 20:16


  • Sylvia
    2019-03-26 16:32

    Un ensayo. Una elegĂ­a. Una resistencia. Un escribir cara a cara con la muerte del padre. Un fantasma.