From Nothing - Cover
Goodreads Icon

From Nothing

Poems

80 pages / 5.50 x 8.50 inches / no illustrations

Poetry

  Paperback / 9780807163467 / September 2016

In her third collection, From Nothing, Anya Krugovoy Silver follows a mother, wife, and artist as illness and loss of loved ones disrupt the peaceful flow of life. Grounded in the traditions of meditative and contemplative poetry, From Nothing confronts disease and mortality with the healing possibilities of verse. Whether remembering the sound of whispered secrets on a family vacation or celebrating a favorable PET scan, in Silver’s keen observations of seemingly mundane moments we glimpse the divine.

As she addresses profound questions about how to make meaning out of suffering, Silver’s poems attest to the power of art to help us face difficult realities in an often painful world.

“I’m ransacked by the pain and love and urgency of this book. These aren’t pretty, redemptive poems about cancer and loss; they're gritty oracles that divide joint from marrow as we stand before coffins, stillbirths, and mastectomy scars. This is one of few poets just brazen enough to be human. In short, Anya Silver doesn’t screw around.”—Tania Runyan, author of Second Sky and A Thousand Vessels

ANYA KRUGOVOY SILVER's previous collections include I Watched You Disappear and The Ninety-Third Name of God. She has also published poems in many journals, including Image, Five Points, Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, and Christian Century. Silver is an associate professor of English at Mercer University and lives in Georgia with her husband and son.

Praise for From Nothing

“Anya Krugovoy Silver continues, in her third poetry collection, to develop her ongoing and—one discovers—efficacious fascinations with illness and loss and with the strenuous, deliberate act of recovery. . . . Silver grapples with an array of difficult human experiences to bring back into view the absolute interconnectivity of persons, and she presents the compelling proposition that what is yet to be done is our bravely accepting the cost of bearing one another’s afflictions, of becoming one. May it be blessed.”—Christian Century

“If sound is the basis of music, and music is the basis of poetry, there aren’t many musicians who can play better than Anya Silver. . . . Put simply, Anya Silver’s poetry isn’t just smart and well-crafted; it’s also fun.”—Atticus Review

“I’m ransacked by the pain and love and urgency of this book. These aren’t pretty, redemptive poems about cancer and loss; they're gritty oracles that divide joint from marrow as we stand before coffins, stillbirths, and mastectomy scars. This is one of few poets just brazen enough to be human. In short, Anya Silver doesn’t screw around.”—Tania Runyan, author of Second Sky and A Thousand Vessels

“Anya Silver’s new collection, From Nothing, is a superb demonstration of her qualities as a poet, many of which she shares with Claudia Emerson: tact and concision, somber music and level diction in the face of life’s imponderables. She ‘wants to keep what was wrong discreet’ but eventually there are screams and transcendence; she comes to her knowledge slowly. In Silver’s childhood ‘There was no knife thrust between God’s teeth. / Which is to say, neither was there faith.’ The poems of her painfully gained maturity are offered up to the reader like small prayers about big subjects: the refugee in her immigrant refuge, the patient in recovery, the inevitable dawning of mortality. Silver sings them in nonce forms, in couplets, in sonnets, in perfect endings. Like Akhmatova, she learns ‘How to Unwant What the Body has Wanted,’ for herself and for her loved ones. There are numerous metaphoric moments of fairy tale grace and gravity, ekphrastic poems that Silver delivers with surgical precision and balances like no other poet. All of us are born as patients but only a few have the gift of healing in a dark wood.”—Michael Salcman, neurosurgeon, author of A Prague Spring, Before & After, and editor of Poetry in Medicine

Praise for From Nothing

“Anya Silver’s new collection, From Nothing, is a superb demonstration of her qualities as a poet, many of which she shares with Claudia Emerson: tact and concision, somber music and level diction in the face of life’s imponderables. She ‘wants to keep what was wrong discreet’ but eventually there are screams and transcendence; she comes to her knowledge slowly. In Silver’s childhood ‘There was no knife thrust between God’s teeth. / Which is to say, neither was there faith.’ The poems of her painfully gained maturity are offered up to the reader like small prayers about big subjects: the refugee in her immigrant refuge, the patient in recovery, the inevitable dawning of mortality. Silver sings them in nonce forms, in couplets, in sonnets, in perfect endings. Like Akhmatova, she learns ‘How to Unwant What the Body has Wanted,’ for herself and for her loved ones. There are numerous metaphoric moments of fairy tale grace and gravity, ekphrastic poems that Silver delivers with surgical precision and balances like no other poet. All of us are born as patients but only a few have the gift of healing in a dark wood.”—Michael Salcman, neurosurgeon, author of A Prague Spring, Before & After, and editor of Poetry in Medicine

“I’m ransacked by the pain and love and urgency of this book. These aren’t pretty, redemptive poems about cancer and loss; they're gritty oracles that divide joint from marrow as we stand before coffins, stillbirths, and mastectomy scars. This is one of few poets just brazen enough to be human. In short, Anya Silver doesn’t screw around.”—Tania Runyan, author of Second Sky and A Thousand Vessels

Found an Error? Tell us about it.