American Nocturne – Elisabeth Stevens – 2015

American Nocturne by Elisabeth Stevens


American Nocturne
by Elisabeth Stevens

American Nocturne, Elisabeth Stevens’ sixth book of poetry, is unfet­tered, wide-ranging. Unlike her fifth col­lection, SIRENS’ SONGS, which was selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the hundred best indie books of 2011 and focused intensely on romantic and sex­ual liaisons, AMERICAN NOCTURNE explores a world-wide geography and more, ranging expansively from conti­nent to continent, from reality to dream.

American Nocturne begins with a Manhattan sunset (the title poem) moves across the country, concludes in a sun-animated hospital solarium back in New York City. In between, the poet visits a North Carolina pizza parlor, a tour boat in Dunedin, New Zealand, and drives a mysterious passenger on a bureaucratic, night errand before realizing that her companion is “no longer living.”

Later, in “Voyage,” an ancient death ship ventures to “the edge of the earth,” and, in “Arachne,” a powerful spider offers the possibil­ity of transfiguration. In “Planting Trees,” the death of trees is coun­tered by the assertion: “I’ll plant as long as I can.”

Published May 15, 2015
Paperback | $10.00 USD


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