Winner of the 2016 T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry
Daughter, Daedalus is a siren song composed of loss and beauty. Moncrief Bromage uses detailed themes of mothering and barrenness so wonderfully interwoven that readers will feel the pain and want as seeming simultaneously just out of reach and attached to the soul. In her collection of apostrophes and open letters to the mythic inventor Daedalus and her daughter, Moncrief Bromage hauntingly presents intersections between the natural laws of the physical world and the powers of mystery, creation, and myth.
Daughter, Daedalus is both original and very often masterful. From the very first poem, the reader is taken in by language and inventiveness. There is also an elevated High Church intention—a scent of incense and bells chiming—that T. S. Eliot would have recognized.
–Jennifer Clement, 2016 judge, T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry
There is an Anglo-Saxon vitality to her language that moves us steadily into the still center of life and the overwhelming power of poetry itself. In Daughter, Daedalus the declension “between child, god and me” transmutes myth into an essential self portrait, without egoism, rising high on the wings of redemptions.
—Ishion Hutchinson, author of House of Lords and Commons
Daughter, Daedalus affirms what the imagination is for—to bring to the center who we are, to help us regain footing as we lose hope—proposing that “there are many ways to outfox our living.” With poems that pull away from our time, but only enough to lay bare what it means to want, Alison Moncrief Bromage renders a world where “days have another clock master,” where “we grow by pulling to stand // against a spinning ground.” Here are poems equal part love letter and cast spell, myth and unit of measure, circle and feather and whale, their diction charged and ringing with old sounds, fairly begging for the world to make sense. Whether reckoning with a lost twin, a long-awaited daughter, a love across time, here is work unafraid of what’s been lost, or gained. I’m haunted by this striking, original debut.
—Kerrin McCadden, author of Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes
Daughter, Daedalus is an especially recommended addition to community and academic library Contemporary American Poetry collections. ‘Daughter; The cold will come’: The cold will come to deliver you / as a body surrounded by another. / If you must take hold of me here, / I will meet you / north as we are. / There are no islands in winter.
—Midwest Book Review, Poetry Shelf