Poetry. “A genie of suggestion and evocation, Stephanie Schlaifer handles the half-said and, even more important, the half-unsaid with an acrobatic delicacy. The most daily objects—sugar, fog—are recombined into an unprecedented domesticity in which the foreign, the strange, the uncanny are perfectly at home. Vivid and multiplicitous, it’s a beautiful book that keeps on opening.”—Cole Swensen
“Stephanie Schlaifer’s CLEAVEMARK is a world, as any faithful and close record of the movements of a mind and body among minds and bodies must be—really, it’s a world containing worlds. Stop reading this and read ‘Tender’ instead, and you’ll see what I mean. There and throughout CLEAVEMARK, Schlaifer, wasting not a single word or gesture, and yet with great generosity, gives us, as she herself writes, ‘all the house in happiness and death.'”—Shane McCrae
“CLEAVEMARK is a work of fragments that has the sense of being an erasure of itself. Lyric pieces of domestic detail are warped around a danger that is never quite revealed. ‘Everything at rest is glass / or iron; fists and matches,’ Schlaifer writes in this work that is a house built atop a bed of copperheads.”—Arielle Greenberg
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