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Firebird by Em Strang PRE-ORDER

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Published July2024. Available for pre-order.

Firebird explores the fires of destruction and rebirth, both literal and spiritual. Each poem invites the reader to consider ‘the necessity of mystery’, where grief and joy, death and rebirth, stagnation and transformation exist alongside one another, ‘exactly as they are’.

In two sections of ekphrastic poems, Em Strang engages with visual art by American painter and erstwhile nun, Meinrad Craighead, and Italian Baroque painter, Caravaggio. The poems speak specifically to Craighead’s 2004 Bosque Fire series – images made in the wake of a devastating fire on the banks of the Rio Grande in New Mexico where she lived – and to a number of Caravaggio’s religious paintings made between 1595 and 1609.

Firebird is an invitation into a unitive perspective, where the source of all creation ‘is a presence that protects us from nothing, even while it sustains us in all things’ and where ‘even if we burn to death, the fire is trustworthy’ (James Finley). These are poems of radical love and courage in the face of ongoing fire.

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