Sherwin Bitsui

In this kinetic poetry collection from Sherwin Bitsui, characters live in a state of fading and blurring, appearing as if photographed or filmed. Dissolve hums with the co-existence and dissonance of landscape and waste, crisis and continuity—with Navajo thought inherent to the movement of the book. Wielding one of the most deeply intuitive, uncompromising poetic voices of our time, Bitsui marries past and present, urban street and wilderness, “the afterbirth of sirens glistening over him.”

ISBN: 9781556595455

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Sherwin Bitsui (Diné) is originally from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He is Diné of the Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tl’izilani (Many Goats Clan). He is the author of Shapeshift (University of Arizona Press, 2003), Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press, 2009), and Dissolve (Copper Canyon Press, 2018). His honors include a Lannan Foundation Poetry Fellowship and a Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship. He is also the recipient of a 2010 PEN Open Book …

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“The formal integrity of Bitsui’s lines enables seamless transitions from the momentary to the timeless, from each disorienting and dazzling idea to the next… Bitsui’s exhilarating poetics lay in the blur of time, the slow and sure slide from ghostlike ideas into haunted-looking things, in constant erasure and redrawing: ‘No language but its rind / crackling in the past tense.'” —Publishers Weekly

“Bitsui’s poetry returns things to their basic elements and voice in a flowing language rife with illuminating images. A great reading experience for those who like serious and innovative poetry.” ―Library Journal

“… The only way to read Bitsui is to trust his poetic momentum and embrace his brilliant work.” —Booklist

“Sherwin Bitsui sees violent beauty in the American landscape. There are junipers, black ants, axes, and cities dragging their bridges. I can hear Whitman’s drums in these poems and I can see Ginsberg’s supermarkets. But above all else, there is an indigenous eccentricity, ‘a cornfield at the bottom of a sandstone canyon,’ that you will not find anywhere else.” ―Sherman Alexie

“[Bitsui’s] images oftentimes depict a world-out-of-balance. Indeed, his work struggles with the tension between Diné and English, between the desire to restore a balance with the natural world and the recognition of how ineluctable the forces of twentieth century technology are. In struggling to reconcile these opposing forces, his poems and prose poems enact a personal ceremony.” ―Arthur Sze

“When one runs across a young poet of incredible ability, it is hard not to pay attention. Sherwin Bitsui is such a poet, and his second book (Flood Song) presents a startling approach to Navajo experience… These untitled sequences of lyrics are disturbing in their familiar beauty and draw the reader into internal states that only a poet of an ancient land could translate into universal understanding.” ―Bloomsbury Review

“Crisp and laced with poignancy, Dissolve by Sherwin Bitsui is a haunting book of poetry.”—Split Lip Magazine