Phyla of Joy – Poems by Karen An-hwei Lee
“Karen An-hwei Lee’s third book is a beautiful and sustained meditation on the impermanence of humanity’s essential components: memory, spirituality, emotion, thought…. Contemplative and linguistically sophisticated, Phyla of Joy is simply exquisite — ‘ink and stanza / flow like wind on grass.’”
— Rigoberto Gonzále
There’s an undeniable audacity in a poet using the word “joy” in our modern world. In her new book, Karen An-hwei Lee combines scientific precision and an appetite for far-flung vocabularies with a fascination for the sources of rapturous emotion.
In poems that roam from the intimacy of prayer to the art of brewing tea, from bamboo-related famine to quasars, the globe’s minor seas, and the nuptial flight of ants, Phyla of Joy reaches toward ecstasy.
Karen An-hwei Lee
is the author of Ardor (Tupelo Press, 2008) and In Medias Res (Sarabande Books, 2004), selected for the Kathryn A. Morton Prize by Heather McHugh and chosen for the Norma Farber First Book Award by Cole Swensen. A former writing resident at the MacDowell Colony of the Arts and the Millay Arts Colony and recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts grant, she currently chairs the English Department at a faith-based college in southern California, where she is also a novice harpist.
Paperback / February 29, 2012
Book: 6 x 9 / 78 pages / $16.95
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