Other Possible Lives

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Praise for Other Possible Lives

Grappling with the consequences of real and imagined choices, Chrissy Kolaya’s Other Possible Lives gives us a world of shifting landscapes, of missing girls and temporary homes. With devastating detail, the poems trace the tumultuous geographies of everyday life and love in flux. These poems offer up glimpses of alternate endings, of the freezing and thawing of love, leaving us to wander a world full of possibilities, where “everything was about to happen.”
What would you see if you could remove the fourth wall of every house, every apartment, every building on the block and peer in unseen at the tangle of criss-crossing human relationships as they unfold or unravel or disintegrate over time? What if you could do the same thing with your own life, and apprehend the what ifs and might’ve beens, the various lives that you could’ve lead—and still might—instead? In Chrissy Kolaya’s psychologically sparkling and suspenseful Other Possible Lives, the reality of the situation is never like TV, it’s unpredictable, unproduced and wooly/nuanced—full of bliss, infidelity, faux pas, complication. These often painterly (and very contemporary, American) poems present us with the recognizable uncertainty of (the) character inside all of us. Here, the domestic and the social, the public and the private, splinter into each other, to present a dynamic vision of marriage, family, and ordinary life—teetering like a sound on the edge of breakup, not quite distorted and not quite clean, but one we can see (and certainly feel) when we look.