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Shadow Architect
Emily Warn
$5.00 paperback
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Shadow Architect
Emily Warn


Mystics have long considered the Hebrew alphabet a key to divine intent, believing that God brought the world into being through speech. Shadow Architect is Emily Warn's midrash: her exploration of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet—the alef-beit—in which she considers the limits and generative power of language. She writes in her preface: "I studied the letters in the same way I study Zen koans: I absorbed their source texts and interpretations (Torah stories, psalms, poems, paintings, calligraphy), living with them until an experience or insight shattered their language and logic, revealing what they concealed."

Within the set boundaries of this alphabet, Warn unites her own distinctly American poetics with the language of sacred texts and commentaries. The result is an alluring, multilayered, and polyphonic investigation of what language means: an architecture not only of shadows, but of "correspondences, analogies, / binaries, metaphors, keys."

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For Shadow Architect, Emily Warn

"Emily Warn's poems passionately search for the answers."—Jewish Times

"Warn has created a serious meditation on Jewish prayer and cosmogony—in lyrical prose and in accessible verse, a book that belongs not only on poetry shelves, but amid other Judaica and books of prose and verse on religious themes."—Publishers Weekly

"... a sincere exploration of spirituality and the line between the abstract and the concrete... "—Library Journal

"By holding words to the light, Emily Warn interprets their shadows... These works are poured from the 'invisible forge' of eternity."—Brooklyn Rail

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