"Readers will find that this work carries the pulse of their darkest sorrows, in the breath of their humanity. Highly recommended."--Library Journal
"Intimate and hypnotic."--Ploughshares
"Levin has the skilled ear, magnificent tongue, and fierce mind of the truly prophetic."--Rain Taxi
"Levin's work is phenomenological; it details how it feels to be an embodied consciousness making its way through the world."--Boston Review
"Death is the new and unshakeable lens through which I see," writes Dana Levin about her third book, in which she confronts mortality and loss in subjects ranging from Tibetan Buddhist burial practices to Aztec human sacrifice. Shaped by dreams and "the worms and the gods," these poems are a profound investigation of our inescapable fate. As Louise Gluck has said: "Levin's animating fury goes back deeper into our linguistic and philosophic history: to Blake's tiger, to the iron judgments of the Old Testament."
They took you in an ambulance even though you were dead,
they took you
and my sister said
Why are you saving her if she is dead?
Curve of sky a crescent blade.
on thermal parapets, shunyata,
void that flays--
barley flour and tea: you watch him
make the paste.
Dana Levin's debut volume In the Surgical Theatre won the prestigious APR/Honickman First Book Prize. She teaches creative writing at the University of New Mexico and in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
"Sky Burial brings a wealth of ritual and lore from various strains of Buddhism, as well as Mesoamerican and other spiritual traditions, all explained in ample, helpful notes that distinguish yamas from thangkas, and so onthe intensity and seriousness and openness of her investigations make [Dana] Levin’s use of this material utterly her own, and utterly riveting."—The New Yorker