It is an honor and a delight to introduce Jessica Garratt’s “April 15.” I first encountered Ms. Garratt’s poetry as a reviewer at The Gettysburg Review, where I was assigned her prize-winning debut collection, Fire Pond. I was immediately impressed by her dexterous and skillful orchestration of extended poem sequences, which read as an accumulation and an undoing, a simultaneous weaving and unraveling.
“April 15” builds on an already accomplished body of work. Here, the luxurious canvas of the extended sequence becomes metaphor, standing in for the rooms, landscapes, and topographies through which the body moves. Here, we watch the speaker traverse both stately public foyers and intimate domestic spaces on the dreaded, infamous tax day. We are made to see the ways we perform, respond to, and become the various architectural structures we inhabit. Indeed, the rooms we pass through inform how we imagine language, relationships, and our own psychic landscapes. Garratt is an exciting voice in contemporary poetry, as daringly grounded as she is philosophical.