"brilliantly creates 'a composite canvas' to capture what it means to make art in our precarious times..." —Craig Santos Perez
At once poem, essay, memoir fragment, and art object, The Book of Fools is a sweeping elegy for our earth—and our plastic-choked ocean—and it is visually, conceptually, and thematically unlike perhaps any book before it. A National Poetry Series finalist, The Book of Fools invents new formal structures to marry global, ecological themes of loss—focused around the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—to personal, confessional ones. Faced with the question of how to express the enormous ecological loss of our time, Sam Taylor joins this collective loss to a personal story of loss involving a mother’s early death to cancer, a story which culminates in a scene the speaker is compelled to revisit, relive, and revise. By utilizing innovative lyric techniques within the larger arc of an accessible narrative, the book endeavors to create a contemporary (anti-)epic for a crisis almost beyond the scale of imagination.
"The Book of Fools is a haunting journey into the (under)worlds of personal loss, global inequity, and ecological disaster. Just as the characters and mythic figures in this book cross borders, the poems traverse the aesthetic terrains of lyric and narrative, while also experimenting with typographical innovation. Taylor brilliantly creates a “composite canvas” to capture what it means to make art in our precarious times and to continue 'dancing of our erasure.'" —Craig Santos Perez, author of Unincorporated Territory
"With The Book of Fools, Sam Taylor has introduced a truly new and absolutely necessary disturbance into the field. All too often, memory and memoir serve as a baroque means of concealment; here, there is very purest disclosure...and by that I mean disclosure at the molecular level. In Taylor's ravishing text, the atoms of every image are seen to shiver and to shimmer. It is as though Taylor knows exactly what is at stake in the gamble of utterance. The Book of Fools is thrilling to witness and believe." —Donald Revell