In Fixed Stars, Marisa Siegel investigates the in-between: windows, porches, drawers, bedrooms, and basements are portals to examine how language shapes and is shaped, and to what ends. With original artwork by Trisha Previte, Fixed Stars is a lush voyage through trauma and toward the reestablishment of hope.
“‘Often it starts with a word,’ writes Marisa Siegel near the beginning of Fixed Stars—and then she starts: sapphire, birdfeeders, everyone stuck with their own machines. The precision in these poems is remarkable, especially as Siegel pulls the language apart at its seams. What is rendered—absence, illness, motherhood, growing sweetgrass for a cat—is rendered by the buckling language, not in spite of it. Siegel writes, ‘We form ourselves against particulars.’ The field of the page nearly glows; Fixed Stars is incandescent.” –Kaveh Akbar, author of Pilgrim Bell and Calling a Wolf a Wolf
“These phenomenal poems ask us to enter the liminal space between seeing and saying, between the body and experience, between words and images. Marisa Siegel has given me fragments of a story I deeply recognize: the pieces of a self that exist in the interstices. In this work, the gaps and windows between sleep and sleeplessness, pleasure and pain, trauma and comfort, beauty and desire open their throats and to my wonder, there is song. There is soaring.” –Lidia Yuknavitch, author of Verge and The Chronology of Water
“In Marisa Siegel’s Fixed Stars the language builds a home then carefully slips through its rooms. Patterns are drawn and patterns are broken. With image and word Fixed Stars flowers from darkness, radiates, bursts with color, as each section, each page, unfolds. Despite the palpable dangers these poems have made their way, have arrived like a gift from the rain.” –Andrés Cerpa, author of The Vault and Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy
“Don’t let the title fool you: there is nothing static about Marisa Siegel’s Fixed Stars. Two words that come to mind are immediacy and dynamism, the poems themselves like the ‘windows[s] of reinterpretation’ she describes. Thanks to Trisha Previte’s captivating artwork and the risks Siegel takes with syntax, punctation, white space, and associative leaps, Fixed Stars is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind collection.” –Maggie Smith, author of Goldenrod and Good Bones
“These poems whisper in a quiet house, sharing secrets, bringing long and closely-held memories and wishes to light, encircling the home with a hard-won tenderness. A worn and worried past (path) is yielding slowly, carefully toward a future of the poet’s own design. If there are dangers in lingering too long in the past, in indecision, or in uncertainty, they are risks that this clear-eyed speaker knows well and has considered from many angles. This is a voice clarifying itself toward lucidity and luminosity—a chime sounding crystalline and true in the wind.” –Mary-Kim Arnold, author of The Fish & The Dove and Litany for the Long Moment
ABOUT THE AUTHOR & ARTIST
Marisa Siegel holds an MFA in Poetry from Mills College in Oakland, CA. Her essay “Inherited Anger” appears in the anthology Burn It Down, edited by Lilly Dancyger (Seal Press, 2019).
Trisha Previteis an illustrator, designer, and explorer hailing from Cleveland, Ohio and based in New York City. She received her BFA in Fine Arts from the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, with a minor in Environmental Studies.