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Sympathetic Magic

Sympathetic Magic

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Amy Fleury


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
80 pages, 6 x 9

Crab Orchard Series in Poetry


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About the Book

Amy Fleury’s bewitching new collection of poems, Sympathetic Magic, unveils the everyday manifestations of sympathy as well as the connections wrought by “sympathetic magic”—that indelible tether that binds people, places, and objects across time and distance. Fleury’s lyrics journey across the landscapes of childhood and old age, body and spirit, past and future, exploring the boundless permutations of sympathy as it appears in the most surprising locations. Connections reveal themselves in the aggressive silence of the small town or the round penmanship of a loved one, and echo throughout the solitude and regeneration of the forest as well as the antiseptic air of the hospital. At the center of these travels lies the narrator, stretching her limbs from the heart of the heartland, her body a compass summoning us from all directions, emphasizing with tender simplicity that “we all live under the self-same moon, no matter the phase.”


Amy Fleury is the author of a collection of poems, Beautiful Trouble, published by SIU Press, and the director of the M.F.A. program at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including Prairie Schooner, 32 Poems, River Styx, and Crazyhorse. She was the 2009–10 Amy Clampitt Resident Poetry Fellow.


“There is no shelter from the blows of fate in Amy Fleury’s American heartland. Yet the inhabitants of her poems respond to suffering with quiet dignity and an abiding faith in the interconnectedness of all living things. It has been a long time since a book moved me as deeply as this one. These are not just beautifully wrought poems; this is one of those rare works that can renew the weary human soul.”—Julie Kane, Louisiana Poet Laureate and author of Jazz Funeral and Rhythm & Booze

“At a time in American poetry when enigma sometimes seems to substitute for emotion and ‘difficulty’ for content, there are still poets who can seize you by the senses and not only show you new wonders but make you feel you’re remembering them. Sympathetic Magic is further evidence that Amy Fleury belongs in that select circle.”—William Trowbridge, Missouri Poet Laureate and author of Ship of Fool

Praise for earlier work

“The minute I finished Beautiful Trouble, I wished I had copies to give to all my friends: to the poets, of course, who will admire it for its art, but also to those who don’t read poetry. Fleury proves that a book of poems need not be baffling or condescending or self-absorbed. With ordinary words placed with perfect precision, this book throws open dozens of windows onto fresh new ways of seeing, and loving, the world.”—Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate