Kate Greenstreet’s The End of Something is the 4th and last book of a loose series, but you don’t need to read the others to appreciate it. This book is like the ghost of a story; there is a floating thread of narrative, but one without defined characters or setting. Each statement; each utterance seems somehow both complete and incomplete. Each, no matter how seemingly ordinary, hangs in the air, gathering an eerie charge of loss and loneliness around it. I’ve never read anything quite like it – but when I try to think of comparisons, a couple of names that come to mind are C.D. Wright and Samuel Beckett.
Fourteen years in Chicago.
I went halfway and turned around.
There’s Franny’s house again.
I chose this book not because I’ve figured it all out, but because I haven’t.
Rae Armantrout has published 13 books of poetry. Entanglements, a chapbook of poems inspired by physics, came out recently from Wesleyan University Press. Conflation, a recording of her poems, was released this year on vinyl by Fonograf Records. Her most recent full length collection, Partly: New and Selected Poems, was published by Wesleyan in 2016. Her poems have recently been collected in French and Spanish editions: Extremities (France, 2016), Necromancia (Spain, 2015 and Argentina, 2016), and Rae Armantrout: Poemas (Spain, 2014). In 2015 she was awarded the Levinson Prize for best poems in Poetry Magazine. Her book Versed (2009) received the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2010. She was also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008 and A Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award in 2007. Her work has appeared in many anthologies and journals—from The Nation and The New Yorker to Lana Turner and Golden Handcuffs. Of Armantrout, Publishers Weekly writes: “No poet gets caustic or self-critical as well as Armantrout, whose quick stanzas — half twitter, half Dickinson — say a lot about how language, money, love, and memory can fail us, and in very little space.” Recently retired from UC San Diego, Armantrout has relocated to the Seattle area.