Fixed Stars

Out now from Burrow Press!

Written by Marisa Siegel
Illustrated by Trisha Previte
(Burrow Press, April 2022)

Praise for Fixed Stars

“‘Often it starts with a word,’ writes Marisa Siegel near the beginning of Fixed Stars—and then she starts: sapphire, birdfeeders, everyone stuck with their own machines. The precision in these poems is remarkable, especially as Siegel pulls the language apart at its seams. What is rendered—absence, illness, motherhood, growing sweetgrass for a cat—is rendered by the buckling language, not in spite of it. Siegel writes, ‘We form ourselves against particulars.’ The field of the page nearly glows; Fixed Stars is incandescent.” – Kaveh Akbar, author of Pilgrim Bell & Calling a Wolf a Wolf

“These phenomenal poems ask us to enter the liminal space between seeing and saying, between the body and experience, between words and images. Marisa Siegel has given me fragments of a story I deeply recognize: the pieces of a self that exist in the interstices. In this work, the gaps and windows between sleep and sleeplessness, pleasure and pain, trauma and comfort, beauty and desire open their throats and to my wonder, there is song. There is soaring.” – Lidia Yuknavitch, author of Verge & The Chronology of Water

“In Marisa Siegel’s Fixed Stars the language builds a home then carefully slips through its rooms. Patterns are drawn and patterns are broken. With image and word Fixed Stars flowers from darkness, radiates, bursts with color, as each section, each page, unfolds. Despite the palpable dangers these poems have made their way, have arrived like a gift from the rain.” – Andrés Cerpa, author of The Vault & ‎Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy

“Don’t let the title fool you: there is nothing static about Marisa Siegel’s Fixed Stars. Two words that come to mind are immediacy and dynamism, the poems themselves like the ‘windows[s] of reinterpretation’ she describes. Thanks to Trisha Previte’s captivating artwork and the risks Siegel takes with syntax, punctation, white space, and associative leaps, Fixed Stars is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind collection.” – Maggie Smith, author of Goldenrod & Good Bones

“These poems whisper in a quiet house, sharing secrets, bringing long and closely-held memories and wishes to light, encircling the home with a hard-won tenderness. A worn and worried past (path) is yielding slowly, carefully toward a future of the poet’s own design. If there are dangers in lingering too long in the past, in indecision, or in uncertainty, they are risks that this clear-eyed speaker knows well and has considered from many angles. This is a voice clarifying itself toward lucidity and luminosity—a chime sounding crystalline and true in the wind.” – Mary-Kim Arnold, author of The Fish & The Dove & Litany for the Long Moment

“In Marisa Siegel’s meditative chapbook, Fixed Stars, the difficulties of coming into safety after a history of peril are manifest as an alarm in need of Xanax, a stuck-open drawer, a spinning begging ceiling fan. Fixed Stars bears a broad formal range, incorporating space-punctured prose poems, dexterous stanzas, and canny line breaks that carry us into the light and unfurl us. Along with Siegel’s speaker, we form ourselves both toward and against the particulars of a forensic exploration—digging up and covering up, peering through windows, eventually hanging the birdfeeder of delight. As Siegel writes, ‘pilgrimage for a disciple cannot / rebuild that road,’ yet ‘hope is the thing whose embers / smolder for years.’ Let the smoldering of Fixed Stars glow a burning hope in you.” – Alicia Mountain, author of Four in Hand & High Ground Coward

About the Author

Marisa Siegel lives, writes, & edits in Evanston, IL. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Mills College in Oakland, CA. Her essay “Inherited Anger” appears in the anthology Burn It Down (Seal Press, 2019) & her debut poetry chapbook, Fixed Stars, is out now Burrow Press. She is senior acquiring editor for trade at Northwestern University Press, & an editor-at-large for The Rumpus. Follow her on Twitter at @marisasaystweet.

About the Artist

Trisha Previte is an illustrator, designer, & explorer hailing from Cleveland, Ohio based in New York City. She received her BFA in Fine Arts from the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, with a minor in Environmental Studies.