Field Guide to the End of the World: Poems
by Jeannine Hall Gailey
Published September 1st, 2016 by Moon City Press
ISBN 0913785768Paperback, 72 pages
Field Guide to the End of the World, winner of the 2015 Moon City Poetry Award, delivers a whimsical look at our culture’s obsession with apocalypse as well as a thoughtful reflection on our resources in the face of disasters both large and small, personal and public. Pop-culture characters—from Martha Stewart and Wile E. Coyote to zombie strippers and teen vampires—deliver humorous but insightful commentary on survival and resilience through poems that span imagined scenarios that are not entirely beyond the realm of possibility. The characters face their apocalypses in numerous ways, from strapping on rollerblades and swearing to taking notes as barns burn on the horizon. At the end of the world, the most valuable resource is human connection—someone holding our hands, reminding us “we are miraculous.”
This is the first time for me reviewing a book of poetry, including reading one; so if this is not the most sophisticated review regarding poetry that you have read please have patience and keep in mind I will get better with time.
I sat and read this book twice due to how fascinating I found it. The book encompasses basically the end of everything from love, health and as the title tells us the world. Gailey is realistic in her writing, making this read feel far from fiction with her depiction of the death of bees, mass pollution of the planet, and how individuals handle their own demise these examples being just the tip of the melting iceberg. Even though I found the whole book impressive I especially enjoyed the section Hard Science and the postcards.
Knowing some of you might be thinking that this book sounds dreadfully depressing, I will reassure you it is far from that at times it is humorous, bizarre and contains a little of everything when it pertains to emotions. The title attracted me to this book, whereas Gailey's spectacular writing is now seducing me towards the genre of poetry.
Jeannine Hall Gailey served as second poet laureate of Redmond, Washington. She’s the author of four previous books of poetry:Becoming the Villainess, She Returns to the Floating World, Unexplained Fevers, and The Robot Scientist’s Daughter. Her work has been featured on Verse Daily and NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac, and included in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.