Mapping the Dream: A Poetics of Remembering
Michaels, Denise Marie
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The Things Downriver is a personal narrative drawing upon the lyric as a pathway to map dreaming. Devoting a year to mapping dreams of childhood recollections, the writer focused on interludes when she and her younger brother spent summers with their paternal Italian American grandparents on their farm located on Natividad Road in Salinas, California. The book is comprised of sequenced prose poems to map specific cultural, aesthetic, and environmental sensory details that return to haunt and compel to be transformed into writing, and a way to honor deeply-rooted dreams. The writer's poetics statement delves into influences on her writing including her father's aesthetics and the essays included in Arriere-Pays by Yves Bonnefoy that dwell on those elements of childhood that anchor a poets' life.