What Becomes Within_Final Concept

This collection is small, but mighty, the speakers trembling throughout—you can feel it—but brave enough to look the sources of their trembling in the eye, for as long as they can, without looking away. Here, an uneasy disconnect, an ever-tension, between empathy in its most earnest form, and a cool sense of remove from the outer world that’s neither intended nor escapable. Here, speakers who say things like, “This life is more than I know,” “I’m flour sifted. / That sifter—” and “We spin into / each other to find the one / who is not spinning. The one / who is solid within // shall be fearless / without.” What Becomes Within is unsettling as the night is long, and every bit as necessary for its dogged search for quietude along the way. —Erin M. Bertram, author of Memento Mori

“Suicide is the rare guest you invite to tea but they never show,” writes Sarah Lilius in her breathtaking poetry collection, What Becomes Within. Lilius maps her bipolarity with elegant intensity and rage of spirit. Sifting through a body scape of emotions twenty miles wide, Lilius’ poems bravely plunge the reader head first into an icy pool of depression and alienation only to  catapult our minds upward where we shake, grasp at strong holds, and attempt to balance on a high wire act of fiery mania. Even when quieted, there is a “yearning” for the scream to get out—even distrust when placid quietude appears. What Becomes Within is a beautiful collection of poems that resonates the flickering, and often self-doubt, that we all share, between head and heart. —Jennifer MacBain-Stephens, author of EveryHerDies and Clotheshorse