Steven Price’s Houdini knows better than most the limitations of life, having bent the efforts of a lifetime to transcending them, and having failed. Ah, but his thinking! Or rather Steven Price’s thinking with and through him. “Make it muscular and be apparent in it,” says Houdini’s archivist/advisor, “words are also escapes.” So they are in a book with the sinew of Anatomy of Keys. The facts of Houdini’s life are here – immigration to America, youth, circus stint, fame, that notorious life-ending punch — but the facts are the spine of a deep and ardent meditation on what is. In poems of astonishing technical virtuosity, Steven Price reads Houdini’s world and our own in compellingly original ways.
Praise for Anatomy of Keys:
“Steven Price, in his Anatomy of Keys, draws us into the intricacy of Harry Houdini’s character, as the Master himself entered trunks, chains, a web of knots. In poem after poem, there is the miraculous surprise of release. These are moving, brilliant poems, a remarkable debut.” — Tim Lilburn