Balance As Belief

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In Wyatt Prunty's new collection of poems, people either keep their balance or, doubting it, tip and fall. A small girl struggles to ride her bike among older children already 'stable as little gyros.' Ice-skating with friends, a boy suddenly drops from sight, and drowns. The poet of Paterson stands at the edge of his Jersey waterfall and knows that 'good balance is belief.' Poising and counterpoising themselves in settings at once fixed and erosive, the people in these poems move through 'one long revisionary river that curls back against itself, as if the only way to move ahead was by deflecting back.'