Catastrophic Bliss

Winner of the Griot-Stadler Prize for Poetry

“The only medicine is the voice,” Myronn Hardy tells us in his vivid and eloquent new collection of poems, Catastrophic Bliss, and what he tries to mend by speaking are the fractured cultures and landscapes that haunt contemporary consciousness. Hardy’s “voice” sings with fresh and arresting observations—“stingrays with pale/ undersides like hands”—and through them he explores the fragile co-existence of man and nature—the bliss of it and the catastrophe.”
—Michael Collier

“Myronn Hardy’s Catastrophic Bliss is a book of double exposures: whether his landscape is Africa, Spain, or North America, his landscapes are haunted by history, by other times and other places. History in these beautiful poems is both a blessing and a curse, a burden one can neither cast off nor carry. And while Hardy understands that there is no ‘sweetness without toil’, he honors the toil by presenting the sweetness as a poor exchange, however necessary, for all the suffering behind it. This is a complicated, mature collection, a collection for adults.”
—Alan Shapiro