Public Books reviewed In the Antarctic Circle by Dennis James Sweeney

September 20, 2022

Thank you to Public Books and Joseph Albernaz for their thorough and considerate review of Dennis James Sweeney’s collection, In the Antarctic Circle, winner of the 2020 Rising Writer Prize. Albernaz shines a light on how “Sweeney’s book opens inner worlds” in this debut collection as well as speaking on his ability to convey this inner world with a voice that is “sharply defined and pierced with longing.”

In the Antarctic Circle refreshingly diverges from much of contemporary environmentally focused poetry (what might have once been called “nature poetry”) in incorporating narrative elements, but little resolution is offered. Instead, space is cleared so new journeys can begin. Between the slow threat of geology and the faster threat of human violence, certainties of doom and redemption are both dispelled: “The end has come and already left,” and in the wake of winter’s inexorable erasures, new forms of connection are awaiting their birth: “Blankness, too, can gestate.”

To read the full review, click here.

Filed under: Review