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The Local World

Poetry, Wick First Book


“Mira Rosenthal’s The Local World incorporates deeply lived experience and mystery in a fluent shape-shifting that can take you anywhere— and bring you back, changed. The poems are beautifully crafted narratives of loss, travel, and salvage. There is a damaged family at the heart of these poems, an abandoned farm, and many rooms, parks, and train cars in far places. Yet, like all really good poems, Rosenthal’s language consistently rises above its cries to wonder and beauty. What a joy to find this stunning first book to award the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize.” —Maggie Anderson, Judge

“In Mira Rosenthal’s stunning debut collection, The Local World, memory is not a static screen for nostalgia but a fierce journey into the self where danger resides. These beautifully crafted poems work through a series of brilliant tropes, a tissue pattern resting over a piece of cloth, a knife cutting from the inside, a boy shadow-boxing with himself, a sunflower ‘like the mast of ship rising tall.’ Rosenthal is both a traveler and a thinker. Her poems, elegant marvels, dramatize her personal struggle to understand and transform the past. This is a dynamic book,one to read and reread.”—Maura Stanton

“The poems in this stark collection feel as if they have arrived just after casting off emotional ballast. A burden has been carried from the familiar world, and over time and distance, that load has been dispersed. And now the poet returns, halfway between grief and transcendence, but in that dark return lies hope.”—Maurice Manning



Mira Rosenthal’s poetry has appeared widely in journals, including Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, Notre Dame Review, West Branch, and Slate. Her translations of Polish poetry have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and in 2007 Zephyr Press published her translation of The Forgotten Keys by Tomasz Rozycki. She has received grants from the NEA, the PEN American Center, ACLS, and the Fulbright Commission, as well as fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, the Banff Center, and elsewhere. She is also the founding editor of Lyric Poetry Review. After graduating from Reed College, she earned an M.F.A. from the University of Houston. She is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.