Environmental Studies

University of Mississippi

Oceanic

By Aimee Nezhukumatathil, professor of English and environmental studies
COPPER CANYON PRESS, 2018

Oceanic“Nezhukumatathil’s poems contain elegant twists of a very sharp knife. She writes about the natural world and how we live in it, filling each poem, each page with a true sense of wonder.”
―Roxane Gay

“Cultural strands are woven into the DNA of her strange, lush… poems. Aphorisms…from another dimension.”
The New York Times

“With unparalleled ease, she’s able to weave each intriguing detail into a nuanced, thought-provoking poem that also reads like a startling modern-day fable.”
The Poetry Foundation

“How wonderful to watch a writer who was already among the best young poets get even better!”
―Terrance Hayes

With inquisitive flair, Aimee Nezhukumatathil creates a thorough registry of the earth’s wonderful and terrible magic. In her fourth collection of poetry, she studies forms of love as diverse and abundant as the ocean itself. She brings to life a father penguin, a C-section scar, and the Niagara Falls with a powerful force of reverence for life and living things. With an encyclopedic range of subjects and unmatched sincerity, Oceanic speaks to each reader as a cooperative part of the earth, an extraordinary neighborhood to which we all belong.

From “Starfish and Coffee”:

And that’s how you feel after tumbling
like sea stars on the ocean floor over each other.
A night where it doesn’t matter
which are arms or which are legs
or what radiates and how―
only your centers stuck together.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of four collections of poetry. Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and the prestigious Eric Hoffer Grand Prize, Nezhukumatathil teaches creative writing and environmental literature in the MFA English program at the University of Mississippi.