How to Avoid Huge Ships, Julie Bruck’s fourth collection of poetry, is a book of arguments and spells against the ambushes of time. Parents grow down, children up, and it’s from the uncomfortable in-between that these poems peer into what Philip Larkin describes as “the long slide.” But what if we haven’t reached the end of the infinite adolescence we thought we’d been promised? We’re still here in this world of flying ottomans, alongside a middle-schooler named Dow Jones, and the prehistoric miracle of a blue heron’s foot. We may be afraid, but we’re still amused — sometimes, even awed.
Looking squarely at the way things are, glossing over none of the absurdities and injustices of contemporary life, Julie Bruck pays ardent attention to it all. The touch is light, even when the subject is heavy. One has a steady sense of being trusted to catch and feel the intangible muchness housed in these deceptively direct poems.
Praise for How to Avoid Huge Ships:
“She is the poet laureate of aftermath, of what we do in the wake of things. She picks up the broken pieces of what’s left, and these she patches together, as she can, into beautifully-wrought poems that bear eloquent witness to what remains.” – Seán Kennedy
“Alert and precise, perceptive and measured, Julie Bruck’s poems calibrate situations both grave and brave, serious and hilarious, whilst avoiding the ‘large ships’ of heavy-handed conclusion. Here are genuine smarts, mature talent, and a wide-angle vision.” — Sharon Thesen
Julie Bruck writes graceful, lovely and wonderfully constructed poems that are a pleasure to read. — Stephen Dobyns
Press Coverage for How to Avoid Huge Ships:
Poetry Review by Michael Kenyon — Malahat Review
Quarrelling with Ghosts — Canadian Liteterature