Kristin George Bagdanov earned her M.F.A. in poetry from Colorado State University and is currently a PhD candidate in English Literature at U.C. Davis. Her poems have recently appeared in Boston Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Puerto Del Sol, and other journals. Fossils in the Making is her first full-length poetry collection. Her chapbook Diurne won the 2019 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. She is the poetry editor of Ruminate Magazine. More at kristingeorgebagdanov.com or @KristinGeorgeB.
“What matters?” ask these intelligent poetic proofs and wagers, in which “a fly is important” and the body is an “apparatus of truth.” Drawing from sources as diverse as Donne, Herbert, and the chemistries of cultural and molecular antibodies, these poems contemplate a world “unmade in our image” with a lyric urgency that is both spiritual and environmental.”
Freud suggested that “no mortal can keep a secret…betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.” Similarly, Kristin George Bagdanov believes that language will give up its secrets, as well as the secrets of the earth. “I was a knowing thing/ I trusted my body/ the apparatus of truth.” But also, “A rigorous thought is a cloud/ do not trust its color.” The betrayals (etymologically, handing over) of truth add up to a gorgeous poetry made of a brilliantly shattering intelligence: that of the poet, yes, but of the world as we find it at this moment, shatteringly betrayed by our technologies.
The ambiguity that is the soul of poetry takes on sublime new shapes in Kristin George Bagdanov’s delicately searing poems. An inventive syntax affords a wondrous multiplicity, confounding logic by confronting it, blurring binaries in acts of composition and decomposition. Fossils in the Making has everything readers want from literature: originality, profound subjects, depth of intellect and emotion. In her first book, she testifies to the largest concerns—mortality, appetite, embodiment, love, time—with devastating eloquence, and in doing so, encounters the great mystery that is existence—and poetry.