“Saudade” is a Portuguese word referring to a quality of longing that has no direct translation into English. Inspired by stories from her Brazilian-born mother, Traci Brimhall’s third collection—a lush and startling “autobiomythography”—is reminiscent of the rich imaginative worlds of Latin American magical realists. Set in the Brazilian Amazon, Saudade is one part ghost story, one part revival, populated by a colorful cast of characters and a recurring chorus of irreverent Marias.
“Gorgeous and searing, Brimhall’s poems are rooted in the marriage of myth, mysticism, and mystery. Collected with the breadth and power of a novel, but delivered in discrete scenes and dreams, Saudade is one of the best books I’ve read this year.” —Nick Ripatrazone, The Millions
[A] spellbinding collection of narrative verse from Brimhall about miracles, curses, and the stories people tell to come to terms with their experiences.” —Publishers Weekly
“[Brimhall] allows us brief visions, glimpses, of experiences more lush and raw than our own, but then retracts them, and it is this retraction that makes the poems sting and sing.” —Nick Lantz, The Rumpus
“The poems in Traci Brimhall’s Rookery make beautiful the brutal as she casts an uncompromising eye on the vagaries of faith, the disappointments of the human heart—and the uneasy interstices between animal consciousness and ours… Part incantation, part lamentation, the language in these poems is sensual and urgent.” —Claudia Emerson
“With a stunning mastery of metaphor, linguistic precision, and a soulful determined vision, Brimhall’s work reveals an artist tuned to the significance of everyday experience…” —Dorianne Laux