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Plash and Levitation delves into the chaotic
sublime of fatherhood, the candid
revelations of youth, and the lingering
consequences of history. Adam Tavel’s
revealing and imaginative poems are
joined by fictional monologues from
historical figures and cultural icons,
juxtaposing personal history with our
shared one. Civil War general William
Tecumseh Sherman and rock legend
Keith Moon are joined by musings from
the Redskins logo and the Wolfman.
Together they create a lively chorus
that clashes and soars. The result is forty-
two fascinating pieces that are witty,
consistently musical, and undeniably
powerful—the perfect inaugural selection
for the Permafrost Book Prize.
Tavel’s Plash and Levitation, as the title suggests, attacks with sardonic lancets. Humor, erudition and a witty talent for sheer invention set this volume apart.
Plash and Levitation reads as a daring collection of poems that pushes forward. It’s smart and edgy, an impressive first book from a poet with a truly unique voice.
Adam Tavel is associate professor of English at Wor-Wic Community College on Maryland’s
Eastern Shore. He is the author of The Fawn Abyss.