In this rare collected gift of poetry and memoir, Learning to Swim does not disappoint. From the simple way Saiser captures the smallest of things that make up our lives, these economical yet powerful poems transport us to the plains with snow where the “snow which well all day brush against the shingles” to the galaxy where we are alone with airplains blinking paths through starts and crickets stirring in the weeds like enemies or memories dredged from the sixth grade where “Mrs. Fischer loved language and knew its power, so she drew its shadows on the chalkboard.” In the end, we are left with the familiar, “a jagged tear in the kitchen ceiling,” “a fault line” where “guests pause when deciding on chardonnay or beer.”
It is a collection like this that brings us back to what we love most, connection to a world that at best is indifferent, and Saiser’s deftly rendered story of place and its characters does not disappoint.
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Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press