Ace, Samuel: Our Weather Our Sea

Ace, Samuel: Our Weather Our Sea

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Our Weather Our Sea by Samuel Ace (Black Radish Books, paperback)

Publication Date: May 1, 2019

Publisher Marketing:  "Sam Ace's fourth collection reads, brilliantly, as a new and selected—even though these poems are fresh and just-here. This is because the book travels through so much of what we love about Ace's work: an intergenerational and sexually fluid map fashioned by a transgressive tenderness that seems to always-be-heading-somewhere. In this way, these poems are culminations towards a queer futurity. 'I beg you to stay unformed,' Ace writes, with what is now his classic voice, both a determined command and compassioned plea. For Ace, whose work and presence now spans decades of activism, lives and genders, this collection honors them all as a site of inquiry, community and, ultimately, celebration in the face of uncertainty. Bravo, maestro. Thank you, brother."—Ocean Vuong

"The poems in Samuel Ace's OUR WEATHER OUR SEA orbit many great bewilderments—embodiment, desire, time, loss—but at the center of this expansive solar system of wonder is a presiding fascination with sound and language itself. Ace writes, 'I want to forget / how to put words together,' and then he begins to offer some alternatives to the traditional order—words repel words across the page, sounds come together in dazzling, sensual new arrays to accommodate his commanding and unprecedented experience. The effect is astonishing. 'The meanings change then change again,' he writes. In these poems, Ace has pulled our language, his aperture, wide enough to fit the whole scene."—Kaveh Akbar

"In OUR WEATHER OUR SEA, Samuel Ace is onto something startlingly new, 'growling and minty.' In deconstructed epistolary forms, song cycles, and serial prose sequences, 'arenas so soft,' Ace makes his way via word-images, painterly phrases which are part visual, part linguistic, 'the middle roads of half-mooned cherries.' These poems cultivate an air of liminality or mystery which accrues as the musical composition unfolds. The changing lyrical self-knowledge in process, 'threads of you a farm of threads,' confronts us with experiences rendered strange but close-up, 'Headlights / breathing / down my / neck some / big clothing,' or revealed as intimate because of their linguistic oddity, 'sticky with coasts.' Ace's pan-gender prepositions play the heroes in this story, connecting different domains of experience, inverting meanings, recontextualizing, turning poignant, or partying on the head of a pin. In this 'infinite slide through the river of identitude,' gender is a bridge, and love is a preposition."—Trace Peterson