These SIX, long poems comprise a provocative and nuanced self-portrait, viewed as if through a kaleidoscope. They explore a single human subject shaped by the cultural forces of art, language, sexuality, vocation, religion, and life-changing love.
Why SIX? Because the collection is comprised of six poems. And because the perspective in this collection shifts like a kaleidoscope, each image viewable from six possible angles. And because these poems, like the prevalent hexagons of the natural world, honeycombs, for instance, derive strength from their compression and their accumulation. “I call six times just to be sure you heard,” this speaker announces on the first page. These poems are also the six calls, calls to attention, calls to action, calls to account for something of our own. The speaker in SIX is insistent, scrupulous, and unflinching as she plumbs six essential aspects of human experience that have shaped us all: art, language, desire, vocation, faith, and life-changing love.
“To wonder is to cogitate, to entertain doubt, to stand in awe, and SIX is a book of wonder. ‘I think a word is a room with a skylight,’ Wade writes, and what doesn’t she wonder over and about in those rooms and through those skylights. Nancy Drew, letters to God, the nature of language and of science, The Sound of Music and the sound of words. The wonder is how intricately it all coheres, phrases and images and motifs disappearing, recurring (startling deja vus proliferate as in a fugue) as Wade gathers language, mind, and body and lets them reverberate and multiply. ‘What is the square root of wonderful?’ she asks. This book is that answer.”—Bruce Beasley
“These beautiful SIX by Julie Marie Wade are six connected love (of language) stories (and of truth), lovingly narrated by a lovable and quirky protagonist. Or, these are six richly exploratory essays, at once impromptu and retrospective, in which Wade leads us wonderingly down six intricate rabbit holes, and there we are, caught in the spiral with absolutely no desire to stop dreaming. Or, these SIX are actually one incantatory poem in the shape of six collages where everything is relevant and equal and everything spreads out before us in metaphor and good will and we ourselves are swept up in the poetry and the life of it, we’re a part of the brilliance and the humanity of it. Thus, this book is a gift.”—Maureen Seaton, author of Fibonacci Batman: New and Selected Poems (1991-2011)