Strange Tapestry

About the Book:

Justin Parnell’s poetry mini-collection, STRANGE TAPESTRY, is a fusion of poetic styles including confessionalism, formalism, and hermeticism, a work which resists concrete definition in order to explore the multiple valences of meaning and uncertainty involved in the retrieval, recollection, and writing of memory. In STRANGE TAPESTRY, moments from the author’s familial and personal history are sites from which to explore the human processes of communication, interpersonal connection, and the construction of self.

Justin Parnell’s Strange Tapestry gathers (as all good poetry does) many seemingly-disparate stories, ideas, anxieties into one multidimensional opus. These poems – formally inventive, cresting with urgency, textured with a dense lexicon of grief and yearning – explore through myth and history the mythology and multiplicity of the self, its origins, its rebellions, and its constructions and reconstructions. As Parnell writes, “you had a word for everything but now/ I have the words.” These poems do not only ask us to think about what we are reading, but how do we even begin to read – to construct and reconstruct – anything. Finally, this is a chapbook about continuance, and evidence of a highly original intellect. —Rebecca Lindenberg

I salute Justin Parnell for turning trauma and pain and family dysfunction into powerful poetry; in many of these poems, words are bullets. He’s quite the Marxman. —Jacqueline Osherow