a review of Paige Ackerson-Kiely’s 'Book About a Candle Burning in a Shed' (above/ground press, 2012) by writer and dg associate Amanda Roth:
Book About a Candle Burning in a Shed is just that, but also so much more.
Paige Ackerson-Kiely, currently of Vermont, has authored the poetry collections My Love is a Dead Arctic Explorer (Ahsahta Press, forthcoming), and In No One’s Land (Ahsahta, 2007)—which won the Sawtooth Poetry Prize—and a limited edition art folio/collaboration, This Landscape (Argos Books, 2010).
Ackerson-Kiely’s first chapbook from above/ground press is a collection of prose poems which combine to produce a memoir dealing with the death of a girl in a small town, and an authority figure’s pursuit of justice amongst internal struggles of his own. It is with fervor and beauty that the author weaves together individual scenes to provide a unique display the whole storyline.
The immediacy of the title bleeds through the pages of this chapbook, displaying context with a certain severity:
Thicket of weeds upon which her body ballooned. Dark dirty water I had to drink once. / There was nothing else around that I could see.
And yet, there are touches of the sporadic and perplexing tendencies of an overactive mind. This inner conflict is a reoccurring theme throughout the collection.
You’re cold again. Her delicate finger pointing to the hall that touches me some nights until I shivered. You’re so far away. You’re an iceberg in the ocean and you will melt and be forgotten.
The intensity of the narrator’s thoughts is overwhelming and enthralling. It is only by understanding each piece of the puzzle arranged by Ackerson-Kiely in this collection of poems that the audience is able to witness the greater narrative within.
Amanda Roth is a freelance writer based in St. Catharines, Ontario with a strong passion for literature that explores historical, political and humanitarian themes. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Brock Press, The Cord and The Martlet, as well as online at Grey Borders Reading Series and The Buddhist Channel. She has also contributed to Irregular Artifact Press. You can find her online here.
Paige Ackerson-Kiely authored the poetry collections In No One’s Land (Ahsahta, 2007), My Love is a Dead Arctic Explorer (Ahsahta, forthcoming) and a limited edition art folio/collaboration, This Landscape (Argos Books, 2010). Paige lives in rural Vermont, edits the poetry annual A Handsome Journal, and works at a homeless shelter.
thank you so much to Amanda Roth for this great review! :)
find out more about Paige and Candle Burning in a Shed from above/ground here!