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Echolocation
by Sage Marshall

Paperback, 88 pp
ISBN: 978-1-957483-27-6
$18.00

 

The debut poetry collection of longtime outdoor writer and former Field & Stream editor Sage Marshall, Echolocation uses the ecology and landscape of the American West to meditate on ideas of violence, adolescence, and beauty. These poems hum with a close attunement to the natural world, whether the speaker of the poem is hunting ducks in California’s Central Valley or backpacking in Colorado’s Weminuche Wilderness. The collection takes the contemporary genre of eco-writing and spools it out with a distinct focus on the brutality of boyhood and masculinity — and how for many men, their only intimacy with each other is through violence. This is a collection that questions today’s social conventions, while also taking on time-worn themes of grief, growing up, and how to be there for each other. While little is formally resolved, Marshall evokes intense emotion and uses language as a balm for the pain that courses through the collection.

"The act of echolocation is to make your very vision out of conversation with your environment. Echolocation is to see without sight, to sing or scream the seeing into being. Echolocation is the act of calling out into a great void and knowing that something will respond, and contained in this response will be your whole world mirrored and bright. These definitions, this synesthetic perception, this bellowed breathing into some abyss with a hope that in your efforts, you will soon see in the dark; these are the poems of Sage Marshall’s Echolocation. In this series, the body and the landscape are one, the night as well as our bodies are bruised; the fire on the hillside, which is watched like a drive in movie, ends with ash in our mouths; the forgiveness we have swallowed turns to swallows bursting from deep thickets of grass. This is poetic echolocation, this is a sacred call and response between a writer and all the environments he inhabits, and we the reader get to view a world between and within the two. “Everything is beautiful. Everything hurts.” There is only this very moment and there is also forever. Call into the dark, and pick up this book and see how the dark calls back. "


 

  —Alexander Shalom Joseph, author of Our Mother, The Mountain, and Broken Light in a Burning Wood

Sage Marshall is a poet, essayist, and outdoors journalist from southwest Colorado. He has lived across the U.S. and currently resides in Western Montana, where he explores the rivers and mountains around Missoula with his partner Bela and their adopted bird dog Gunney. He’s a student of many outdoor pursuits, from skiing and backpacking to fly fishing and duck hunting. Marshall is a contributing writer and former editor of Field & Stream. His creative work has been featured in publications such as The Missouri Review, Sport Literate, Catamaran, and elsewhere. Check out more of his writing and drop him a line at www.SageMarshall.com.

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