Beautiful Nerve by Sheila Squillante

ISBN: 978-0-9980701-1-7
90 pages
Release Date: September 30, 2016
Tiny Hardcore Press

The poems in Sheila Squillante’s debut collection, Beautiful Nerve, are meant to unsettle. They draw on our anxieties and fears—somatic, linguistic, metaphoric—leading us somewhere somehow calming in its familiarity but troublingly unsteady: a bridge that ends abruptly as you cross it, the doomed deck of a haunted ship, a three-cornered room, the cutlery drawer, a table where you lie still beneath the surgeon’s knife. Miscommunications and disorientations abound in these poems. Memories and dreams collide with nature and media, creating something superficially simple, but too unstable for us to ever get comfortable. “Look at the landscape for a while,” they tell us. But then “pull out and be on your way.”

“In these stunning poems filled with the weight and hungers of milk, honey, and sensuous blood-pulse, Sheila Squillante deftly slips between exterior and interior spaces of embodiment and intellect, quotidian and sublime, dream and wakefulness. With a painterly eye and an impeccable ear for linguistic sound and phrasing, the keenly-thrumming poems in Beautiful Nerve will rivet you with their quirky precision, and make you swoon with their wild and gorgeous music.”

—Lee Ann Roripaugh, author of Dandarians