Explosive and incantatory, The Low Passions traces the fringes of the American experiment through the eyes of a young drifter. Pathologically frugal, reckless, and vulnerable, the narrator of these viscerally compelling poems hops freight trains, hitchhikes, dumpster dives, and sleeps in the homes of total strangers, scavenging forgotten and hardscrabble places for tangible forms of faith. A range of strong-willed characters takes shape, amplified by a chorus of monologues from the strangers who shelter him and the family he’s left behind—each made manifest by the poet’s devoted ear and sensitive eye.
Anders Carlson-Wee’s poems have appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, BuzzFeed, and many other publications. The recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and winner of the 2017 Poetry International Prize, he lives in Minneapolis.
By the time of her death on 11, February 1963, Sylvia Plath had written a large bulk of poetry. To my knowledge, she never scrapped any of her poetic efforts. With one or two exceptions, she brought every piece she worked on to some final form acceptable to her, rejecting at most the odd verse, or a false head or a false tail. Her attitude to her verse was artisan-like: if she couldn’t get a table out of the material, she was quite happy to get a chair, or even a toy. The end product for her was not so much a successful poem, as something that had temporarily exhausted her ingenuity. So this book contains not merely what verse she saved, but—after 1956—all she wrote.—Ted Hughes, from the Introduction