Inventory of Doubts

by Landon Godfrey

$18.95

Winner of the Dorset Prize

“As we endure the oppressing weight of the Anthropocene Era, its civic and ecological degradations, I found Godfrey’s often funny, sometimes dark, always surprising anthropomorphic swerves a tonic. Inventory of Doubts is a book where a human is just another kind of animal, and a drinking glass is a deeply feeling creature. Godfrey gifts us an intimate world where ‘each time a blanket covers a body, it tries to keep the dusty soul alive through the night.’”

—from the Judge’s Citation by Dana Levin

 

Format: Paperback
Published: September 2021

Available on backorder

ISBN: 978-1-946482-53-2 Categories: ,

Everything is thrillingly alive in Landon Godfrey’s Inventory of Doubts: a feather boa dreading the fake blood to come on Halloween, a jealous boulder considering “cures for loneliness while it pauses on a cliff.” But far from being exercises in whimsy, the vivid, brief poems collected here have weight: when a dishrag dreams “of the ball gown it will never be” we enter a tale of “experiments with justice”; when a zoo and an apartment building next to it ruminate on one another, we encounter a meditation on liberty.

Inventory of Doubts offers us entry into a circus with serious designs. There’s a dynamic juxtaposition between the undomesticated figures at play in each poem and the highly structured organization of the book itself: the poems arrive in strict alphabetical order by title, with the last poem, “Zoo”, meeting the first poem, “Attic”, in a way that ultimately lends the book a circular shape: circus ring indeed! While the book is comprised entirely of prose poems, there are unexpected moments of concrete poetry a la Apollinaire’s Calligrammes. The wacky/nightmare gifts of Surrealism inform this collection, as well as echoes of Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons and Caryl Churchill’s play Far Away: another drama where objects come alive and join the disturbances of the polis.

As we endure the oppressing weight of the Anthropocene Era, its civic and ecological degradations, I found Godfrey’s often funny, sometimes dark, always surprising anthropomorphic swerves a tonic. Inventory of Doubts is a book where a human is just another kind of animal, and a drinking glass is a deeply feeling creature. Godfrey gifts us an intimate world where “each time a blanket covers a body, it tries to keep the dusty soul alive through the night.”

—Dorset Prize citation by Dana Levin

Landon Godfrey
credit: Gary Hawkins

Landon Godfrey is the author of Second-Skin Rhinestone-Spangled Nude Soufflé Chiffon Gown (Cider Press Review), selected by David St. John for the Cider Press Book Award, and two limited-edition letterpress chapbooks, In the Stone(Regional Artist Project Grant-funded) and Spaceship(Somnambulist Tango Press). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. Born and raised in Washington, DC, she now lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Additional information

Weight 0.25 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 9 in