LATROBE, PA – Object Permanence, the first full-length collection of poems by Saint Vincent College associate professor of English Michelle Gil-Montero, has been published and released by Ornithopter Press.
The book is a collection of poems written by Gil-Montero over a span of more than 10 years.
“I had been writing poems in a similar vein for years,” explained Gil-Montero, “and a number of them had been collected in a chapbook in 2013. At one point, new work came together with some of that old work in a way that suggested a full-length book.”
The official description of the book from Ornithopter Press reads, “’Object permanence’ refers to the early developmental stage in which the child learns that the world exists independently of one’s own ability to perceive it. In this, her first full-length collection of poems, Michelle Gil-Montero unveils the elusive debris of daily life in order to invoke, paradoxically, its impermanence. These poems summon the liminal world of early motherhood, of early morning, of seasons in transition. Inhabiting a terrain of post-industrial landscapes at once familiar and not - a space where what isn’t encroaches on what is - Gil-Montero’s pitch-perfect, emotionally resonant lyric lines pressure the expressive possibilities of language. Sound hovers on the verge of becoming object. Object threatens to evaporate into sound.”
“There are themes that recur throughout the book,” Gil-Montero said, “like motherhood, loss and the interior life. But mostly, they are just strange, language-driven poems that have a certain kinship in their music and poetics.”
While this is her first full-length book of poetry, Gil-Montero previously released a chapbook, Attached Houses, published by Brooklyn Arts Press, in 2013. Additionally, she has translated a number of works of Latin American writing, including Poetry After the Invention of América: Don’t Light the Flower by Andrés Ajens (Palgrave MacMillan); Mouth of Hell, The Tango Lyrics and The Annunciation by María Negroni; and This Blue Novel by Mexican poet Valerie Mejer Caso (Quattro Books and Action Books). Her work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies.
Gil-Montero, who holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. in Poetry from The University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop, teaches a wide variety of courses in creative writing at Saint Vincent College. She also serves as the faculty adviser to the student literary magazine “Generation,” director of the College’s Visiting Writers Series, and co-editor of Eulalia Books, an independent publisher of international poetry in translation housed at Saint Vincent College.
PHOTO 1: Michelle Gil-Montero
PHOTO 2: The cover of 'Object Permanence,' published by Ornithopter Press