At long last, we are graced with the arrival of a full length collection, tour de force of poetic brilliance. No. Fuck that. To call Deborah Wood's Underneath The Occipital Bone poetry is to gravely do it an injustice of its literary brilliance. This is a book that defies the oppressive reality of genre. The writer reminds us why we choose to read in the first place, to love words, relish its sonic resonances and lose ourselves in the wonder of language. Read this book. It will transform the world that you dare imagine. It will change you in unimaginable ways.
Truong Tran, author of Book of the Other
With Under the Occipital Bone, Deborah Wood has written something truly remarkable. By diving deep, under the skin, under our assumptions of what we might find there, she has made the body new again. This gifted poet encourages us to wake up when she writes of “the possibility that we can be attentive.” And in these pages we find a poetic practitioner who is deeply attentive with remarkable insights, revelations, and news of what it means to be human. When Wood writes “why don’t you step in front of my viewfinder” she’s inviting us to experience an acute, imaginative way of seeing. With stunning imagery to boot. Along the way we are rewarded with the recognition that we can be “..whole, healed, while still imperfect, human.” This book offers needed balm for our personal and worldly concerns. A wonderful debut.
Toni Mirosevich, author of Spell Heaven
In Deborah Wood’s impressive debut collection Underneath the Occipital Bone she becomes the curator we’ve always longed for. In these striking poems she curates with such care. In this curated world we become “submarine bodies” and “two sneezes and a closet door closing”. We speak the “vocabulary of the unaccepted”. We travel through cities and seas and an inventory of moments. In her poems, Wood wants us to pause and look. She wants us to listen closely and observe the beauty in the mundane. You must believe that these poems need to be read. Believe that when you dive in, you will be instantly lost in a whirlwind of “wishbones from thirty-year old Thanksgivings” and color theory. You will be stalking Marie Curie with your accumulation of Air Supply songs. In this powerful collection, together with Wood, you will calibrate. You will bring a world of things but stop short. You will write letters together and watch time lapse. You will understand how to prepare yourself to be loved by the tulip breeder. In these poems, you will surely not be disappointed.
Anhvu Buchanan, author of The Disordered and The Peeling of a Name
Deborah Wood’s poems weave in and out of bodies, songs, cities, private jokes, prayers, snow globe collections left over from childhood or an epic road trip across the country. Like an alchemist or a DJ with all the right records, Wood mixes together the everyday moments of loss and love that are capable of breaking us in so many little ways: “Cracked vinyl but still playing that song.”
Marisa Crawford, author of Reversible and The Haunted House
Deborah Wood lives with her family on the coast of Massachusetts. She has published poetry and fiction in numerous journals. Her chapbook, “An Aorta with Branches, A Travelogue” is available from sunnyoutside press.