Ghost Camera (Paperback)

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In Ghost Camera, discover cinema as grand metaphor, where the poet's acute lyric lens captures images that crystallize and lay bare romantic love and intimacy, family and community, popular culture and routine daily life.

Divergent figures, arising from a film-fueled cosmos, haunt. At the center of the collection, Jean Seberg, the midwestern American actress and icon of French New Wave, appears in a sequence that explores one individual life at the point of shattering like a kaleidoscope, riven by personal griefs, professional pressures, and political and societal forces.

David Semanki's debut poetry collection, Ghost Camera, is hard-won; it cuts to the core

"It makes sense that one's earliest memories-of childhood, of family, of 'joy and burden'-might be considered through the vocabulary of cinema. A life is lived frame by frame, take by take, inscribed, reviewed, revised. Through such a vantage, who doesn't become a kind of ghost, a figure made of shadow and light? I am rapt here wandering through this world-through the clamor and isolation of family, through the surge and drop of love and longing. Even the wider world of history and policy, when regarded via a season in the life of French New Wave icon Jean Seberg, takes on the visceral tenor of a feature film. Ghost Camera is terse and sumptuous, tender and unblinking in mapping the landscapes of private consciousness and collective culture. An enthralling and visionary debut."-Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Life on Mars

"In this moving, remarkable debut, David Semanki brings together a devotion to cinema with the bright intensity of the lyric poem. The results are striking and memorable, as he leaps from image to image, directs our attention to the roving, filmic gaze of the poet, and turns his considerable intelligence to the task of understanding war, the crimes of a previous century, and the effect those events have had on his family, and by extension, on him. Ghost Camera is a testament to the lyric poem's ability to illuminate the intensities of the inner life, and to make that life available-through linguistic refinement, beauty, and rigor-to others."-Mark Wunderlich, author of God of Nothingness

"I've been waiting for David Semanki's Ghost Camera for many years. Cinema acts as a conduit of memory's movement toward and through pleasure and pain. Semanki's charged and powerful portraits of film icons mirror a speaker who is profoundly sensitive to isolation, loss, and the complexities of the human heart. Semanki has a distinctly precise eye for detail, razor sharp wit, while possessing a most tender and textured lyrical hand. This is both a tribute to film's poetic vision as well as a pilgrimage toward acting as one's own witness."-Tina Chang, author of Hybrida

"This debut collection-whose beautiful and complex poems have steadily materialized (and dazzled) at Semanki's perfectionistic pace since the 1990s-is the answer to all truisms about patience and reward. Delicate yet unnerving, the voice of Ghost Camera is an embodiment of the many connotations of 'ghost': effacement (voluntary and otherwise), loss, behind-the-scenes artistry, memory, and the very essence of self-ness. Ghost Camera is as close to perfect as a collection can be."-Kathryn Maris, author of The House with Only an Attic and a Basement

DAVID SEMANKI holds an MFA from Columbia University. While an editor, he conceived of, wrote the commentary for, and shepherded into publication Sylvia Plath's Ariel: The Restored Edition. Semanki's poetry has appeared in a variety of publications, including The New Yorker, The Yale Review, The American Poetry Review, The New York Times Book Review, and The Paris Review. After years living in California, he has returned to rural New England.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781625494573
ISBN-10: 1625494572
Publisher: Turning Point
Publication Date: March 2nd, 2024
Pages: 112
Language: English