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A Map of the Heavens
Selected Poems 1975-2017
Foreword by Patti Smith
Introduction by Bob Holman
ISBN 978-1-949966-69-5 213 pages $16.00
This wondrous book contains a life lived in poetry. the trouble is finding one decade’s worth that outshines the other. Hamill’s commitment to poetry & the light it sheds even in its darkest moments are unshakeable. her voice has been consistent for these past 40 odd years with not an iota of diminishing strength. Hamill starts out fully formed in the 70’s and remains so until the present. her poems are never “clogged with an obstruction of black orchids” but rather blossom—each as a vibrant flower—each preceding or proceeding the other, delivering sights, smells, tastes, “sounds that come and go” into all our senses & beyond. this book is not the “Tragedy of Janet Hamill” but rather the triumph of poetry… indulge in & be “devoured by [her] “words” as you too become a “sleepwalker through time”…on “voyages of melancholy”, mirth, desire, longing & history. may these poems help to “fill your holes” with their bare-knuckled authenticity & cause your very soul to “flame up.”
Steve Dalachinsky, nyc 9/1/19
Janet Hamill steers the heart-shaped barque of her poetry over vast seas and vertiginous narrows. Both exotic and intimate, her travels follow a unique and hypnotic star-map. She is an enchanting teller of the oldest tales and an accurate guide to the last century’s best reach into ours. Read these poems like lines on a palm or view them like a Truffaut or Hitchcock film. They are visceral and erudite. They rewarded this lucky reader
with mystery, delight, and sensual music.
Janet Hamill is one of the great living voices of American Surrealism. Inheriting Modernism with open arms, she’s conducted a lifetime of lithe and sure-footed experiments in “derangement of the senses”—New York style. Read these poems and be dazzled. The magic carpet has left the launchpad. This is wild and lovely poetry to chant
in the woods, read in a cafe, and share with only your coolest friends.
In A Map of the Heavens, Janet Hamill transports us across oceans, continents, constellations, and parking lots with the guile of a true storyteller. Hamill explores the hallucinations, myths, nerve endings, and steganography of a life traveled with a deep knowledge that sometimes mysteries should remain mysterious. Packed with unforgettable
imagery, this is a dazzling collection. Enjoy the journey!
To enter Janet Hamill’s Selected Poems is to be inside
a body of internal whirlwinds a language of
time melting in a thousand geysers of raving mystic visions of
the releasing heart erotic wooing sacking
cities crumbling into a billion stars. A modern woman boldly inhaling her life.
A Seer exhaling the universe.