New Issues Press 2014
I won’t say Ailish Hopper‘s collection Dark~Sky Society (New Issues Press, 2014) is “about” anything because that would do it a disservice. These poems are human. They move like legs on a street, like a mind at work that calls you to ruminate with it. Because we can’t understand everything, we have to be comfortable in that space of being unsure.
Hopper calls it “Art out of Ignorance” and I agree, but wonder if it is not also “Art out of a Refusal to Misunderstand.” It is not easy to stay in an uncomfortable space until you hit on a truth. It is also difficult to accept silence as a part of communication but this poet does and what she has discovered, she shares with us in this collection.
“Dark Sky Society” does not see its own bravery. It does not draw attention to its confrontation of everything “place” can mean. And it does not apologize. The poems implicate themselves, and in turn implicate anyone who has ever dared to wonder, “How and why does our world work in this way?”
I strongly encourage our listeners to pick up a copy of this collection to witness the ways in which Hopper reminds us that the song, the visuals, and the voice of the poem can engage the senses in a brilliance of stimuli and, in turn, the mind.