Variations on Dawn and Dusk

Dan Beachy-Quick

Variations on Dawn and Dusk

Dan Beachy-Quick

Distributed for Omnidawn Publishing, Inc.

48 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2019
Paper $13.95 ISBN: 9781632430700 Published October 2019
Acting as poetic records of light, the poems in Variations on Dawn and Dusk follow the sun as it warms, cools, colors, and shifts the space of Robert Irwin’s untitled (dawn to dusk) in the desert of Marfa, TX. Built on the footprint of the town’s old hospital, Irwin’s permanent installation is a remarkable structure with walls, windows, and screens that both capture and are taken over by the sun’s changing light. Through this deeply engaged ekphrasis, Dan Beachy-Quick uses language to participate in the overpowering elegance of Irwin’s structure. The poet’s fervent observations lead us in cycles of meditation, moving with the light that slides through the surfaces of the installation. Here, the very foundation of our vision—light—forms the vocabulary from which these poems are built.
Building from Irwin’s use of rhythm and structure, the poems in this collection are constructed with an architectural framework. Rhythmic procedures inversely link the first and last words of the first and last lines of each poem and tie the number of lines to the number of syllables in the first line. These structures form a pattern, a thoughtful consistency through which we are invited to move and meditate with each variation of light.
 
Review Quotes
Publishers Weekly
"A work of ekphrasis based on Robert Irwin's Untitled (Dawn to Dusk) set in the desert of Marfa, Tex., draws inspiration from the sun as it warms, cools, colors, and shifts, resulting in a series of poems whose patterns are informed by their subject: light."
Katie Peterson, author of The Accounts
“In Variations on Dawn and Dusk what’s spoken is almost sung, and what’s sung is quickly lost, but what remains is a trace of presence as political as it is spiritual, reminding the reader that we’re constituted by what passes through us, what we’re open to. . . . But what a space, lit with such generosity and heart! It is aspirational, it is hopeful, it is not sentimental. It has a truly counter-cultural music that makes use of hums and whispers and silences. As I read Variations on Dawn and Dusk I almost felt as if my body unfroze. It simply delivers light.”
Brian Teare, author of Doomstead Days
“A true American metaphysical in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Susan Howe, Beachy-Quick is our postmodern antinomian, suspicious not of a moribund faith but of the truth claims of consciousness itself. These fierce lyrics of existential grief display his preternatural attunement to thought at the moment it turns inward upon itself not for comfort but in grave confrontation.” 
Donald Revell, author of The English Boat
“Something quite literally ultimate transpires in these Variations on Dawn and Dusk, as Beachy-Quick has found a way to map the interstices—between quanta of light; between syllables; between the nearly inaudible sounds of colors upon surface. To my certain knowledge, no one has accomplished this since Dame Julian of Norwich. These quiet poems are a torrent of angels, and I cannot look away.” 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
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