Wake: Up to Poetry
The “perfect acoustic” of The Stairwell
Few moments are more exciting at the Press than when we are getting started on a new book. This fall, we’ll publish Michael Longley’s tenth collection, The Stairwell, and preparations are well underway. We’ve done a first read, gathered the cover image and copy, and sent files off to the designer.
The title of the book comes from the first poem in the collection, which captures an instant in time standing with a friend in a Halloween-decorated New York stairwell. That moment holds the future (“I have been thinking about the music for my funeral…”), the past (“Whistling Great War numbers – ‘Over There’, ‘It’s a Long, / Long Way’, ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’…), and the perfect present (“I touch your arm. Listen, Lucy, / There are songbirds circling high up in the stairwell.”).
All of Longley’s gifts are on beautiful display in this poem and the book that bears its name.