Thesaurus of Separation
138 pages, 6" x 9"
Editions: paperback or downloadable .pdf
July 1, 2016
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Finalist for the 2017 Eric Hoffer Award
and Montaigne Medal
Thesaurus of Separation
by Tim Mayo
Phoenicia is delighted to announce the publication of this new, full-length poetry collection by Tim Mayo.
As the title suggests, Tim Mayo’s carefully structured book deals with the multiple forms of separation: separation from the past, from a sense of family, a sense of belonging and ultimately from the self. His poems capture the sense of alienation many of us feel in this contemporary world where we want (as the poet does in “The Yellow Afternoon”):“the inexplicable to be/explained and the eggshell of answers/to close over the yoke of our questions.” Full of surprising phrases and metaphors (“Trapezing,” “Darning Needle,” “Self-Storage”) the poems ring with important truths such as: “you must accept the perennial fly/its karmic place in your ointment,” and “what do we know about the world/except what we know about ourselves.” These poems are extraordinary and generous gifts.
—Patricia Fargnoli, former New Hampshire Poet Laureate, author of Winter and Then, Something
Tim Mayo’s poems explore the taxonomies of loneliness, of memory, and of a past deep as a cave. This is a past carved from foster care and stone. A past with a bullet in its head. A realm “where all of winter is sleep.” Here, fathers are strangers and ancestral ghosts slip ever deeper into the trees. Only his “Reverie at the Keyboard” can call them forth, call them back, as these are poems that must be spoken out loud while they ask, “which home / do I live in? / the one you killed— / or the one I’ve made?” And what “makes the bottle mute with cork?” It’s in the words that ask such questions that Tim Mayo finds his strength; it’s in surrendering to the words’ answers that he finds his salvation.
—Meg Kearney, author of Home By Now, winner of the 2010 PEN New England LL Winship Award
Tim Mayo lives and writes in Brattleboro, Vermont, where he is also a mental health worker at the Brattleboro Retreat and a substitute teacher. He holds an ALB, cum laude, from Harvard University and an MFA in Writing & Literature from Bennington College. He’s also been studying circus arts and flying trapeze at the New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro, Vermont, off and on for the last ten years.
His previous publications include a book of poetry, The Kingdom of Possibilities (Mayapple Press, 2009), which was a finalist for the 2009 May Swenson Award and a chapbook, The Loneliness of Dogs (Pudding House Publications, 2008), which was a finalist in the WCDR 2008 Chapbook Challenge in Ajax, Ontario, Canada.
Tim Mayo’s work has appeared in a long list of journals, and his many awards include the International Merit Award from Atlanta Review 1999 and 2000; Finalist in the 2009 Paumanok Poetry Award Contest and five Pushcart nominations.
cover artwork by Amelia X.
author photo: (c) 2016 Jonathan Sa'adah