Swamp Isthmus


Swamp Isthmus takes the stripped, lyric voice of Selenography, the first book of Wilkinson’s No Volta pentalogy, and confronts a pre-apocalyptic vision of American urban life. Here, the city and forest are one, as are the river and sewer. The ghost and the body are one, and the buildings and the trees, the sidewalks and the switchbacks all fuse. The poems in Swamp Isthmus create the flipside of the pastoral—the urban returns to the rural, their fates inseparable. In this broken, scattered world that still finds a way to be playful and imploring, there is no respite in the trees and streams and no turning back on nostalgia for either nature or the city. Though the second installment of the larger pentalogy, Swamp Isthmus stands alone, archiving and organizing, rehearsing words to hold in the mouth for just that moment.