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River City Fires

In Derek Annis' River City Fires, you'll travel through surreal geographies that are equal parts terrestrial and intimate.

“To make of bewilderment itself a world serviceable enough to live in–to imagine a way through: this seems the chief imperative of River City Fires, whose astonishing poems hover around fires both actual and metaphorical in a landscape/riverscape/forestscape both recognizable and surreal. These are poems whose meanings I can’t always parse—and I don’t feel I’m supposed to; instead, they seem like slant confessions, not of trauma, but from trauma; they articulate the triumph of survival, they fragment what’s whole and, instead of restoring it, reimagine the possibilities for wholeness. ‘Blessed are the burned. The blistered/inherit the earth.’ A terrific collection.”

—Carl Phillips, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

River City Fires is beautiful, elemental, and oracular. It’s as steeped in threat as any fable or holy book, and the darkness is forever manifesting into fears and friends. Like the book of Proverbs armed with a rifle, every poem transforms themselves at each line break’s dire revelations. Surreal and archetypal, this city and its fires speak (as many fires do) to god, asking 'make death/turn away.' These poems will haunt you with the most gorgeous aching."

—Traci Brimhall, author of our lady of the ruins

Cover Artist: Adam Hall

Cover Designer: Sally Franckowiak & Jerrod Schwarz

Derek Annis (they/he) is a neurodivergent poet from the Inland Northwest. He is the author of Neighborhood of Gray Houses (Lost Horse Press) and an editor for Lynx House Press. Their poems have appeared in The Account, Colorado Review, Epiphany, The Gettysburg Review, The Missouri Review Online, Spillway, Third Coast, and many other journals.

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