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Suicide is the leading cause of death of 10-14 year-olds in Maine. Suicide is the second leading cause of death of 15-34 year-olds in Maine. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death of 35-54 years old in Maine.
"Rhubarb grows from rhizomes, releasing its body wherever conditions prove favorable. Similarly, Zackary Lavoie’s poems in Upheavals contain those rhubarb-like qualities of disruption and alteration, an I that vanishes and reappears in the natural world, in the city, in the sacred, and back in a corporeal body. There is a rich curiosity in Lavoie’s poems that reminds me of how Elizabeth Bishop, Matthew Henriksen, Neruda, Blake, and William Carlos Williams devise imagery in their works. “if i could create // a religion i would pray to trees and call them mother,” Lavoie claims in world replete with myth, flora, and longing. These poems will meander like rivers to “fill [your] bell[ies] with pebbles,” and you won’t soon forget their humming."
-Roy G. Guzmán, author of the forthcoming collection, Catracho, from Graywolf Press
"Zackary Lavoie’s Upheavals marks the path of a poet searching for God and grace and human connection in a dead pigeon killed on Ditmars, in a wet pinecone thudding on a tin roof, in a lover’s morning departure as the sun spears its bars of light between the drapes. Here is the benediction of loneliness. Here is the architecture of want. Step inside and be transformed. You will 'come out the other side a little less/ Of a fist and a little more/ Of a cupped hand of milk and caramel.'"
-Jeffrey Thomson, author of The Belfast Notebooks
"Zackary Lavoie’s Upheavals is a book of transformations, of the failure of the natural and spiritual world to serve as salve: “If god / lives on Earth / i’m sure he hangs / onto the underside / of a fallen leaf … somewhere rainy / and dead.” Meditative yet spurred by urgency, these poems contemplate the precipice of despair and desperation, of suicide and escapes. A votive to memory, to the father who stays behind in his ivory truck and to the overpass that spans above these poems, they offer--in spite of lushness--no simple solutions. “The brightest parts of a candle is the center of the / flame,” Lavoie writes, “and i am ablaze.” Heaving, jagged, and sharp, like ice pinnacles, Upheavals pierces with beauty."
-Jacques Rancourt, author of Novena
"To make of your body a prayer is, I think, one of the humble ways we become holy, and here, in this hymnal full of elegies, Zackary Lavoie has performed such spiritual supplication. These poems are wonder-filled, a child’s fingers running through the dirt. They ask what I wish we always asked: how can I become a little smaller? And then they gaze, beg, question, pray, and praise. Sit with these and let them warm your room. Sit with these and count the bruises you acquired in sleep. Sit with these and then leave that room and find the world outside and look, as these poems do, a little closer. Zackary says, “if I could create / a religion i would pray to trees and call them mother.” Shh, don’t tell him, but in Upheavals, he does just that."
-Devin Kelly, author of In This Quiet Church of Night I Say Amen