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ISBN: 9780888016935
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Lunatic Engine

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Slow planetary rotation, the push and pull of the moon, a Book—Paul Pearson’s debut collection of poems lays before readers a mapping and re-mapping of the familiar systems of order we rely on to survive the human experience. Reflecting on the principles set down by both Galileo and the Church, Lunatic Engine directs our gaze to the heavens, to the childhood home, to the womb, to the quiet moments of our daily lives to contemplate what comfort is offered by doctrines when staring down the barrel of birth, death, and everything in between.

Advanced Praise

Lunatic Engine is a book of orbits, of wayward paths traced around the gravitational bodies of childhood, parenthood, marriage, religion, art, and science. These are inventive poems in which ninjas fight Dutch elm disease, eyelashes are keys to understanding aerodynamics, and children free angels from river ice. At once moving and heady, Paul Pearson has written a remarkable book that will keep you looking over your shoulder into the heavens.

—Adam Dickinson

The Lunatic Engine of Paul Pearson’s dynamic first book pulses & revs across many different ‘scapes: the conflict between science & religion, a subtly personal exploration of how one comes to terms with such, especially as a parent, a vision of the world as it is & as it might be. This engine takes readers to the moons of Jupiter & to the poet’s backyard, stepping delicately through a forest of footnotes turning into new poems, & pushing the lyric into new configurations along the way. Both theologically & scientifically attuned & emotionally acute, Lunatic Engine torques its power with subtle grace.

—Douglas Barbour

[R]eading the poems … made me feel, as Emily Dickinson put it, “as if the top of my head were taken off.”

—Dava Sobel