There's a Ghost in this Machine of Air
Gold Passage was chosen for the Trio Award by Ross Gay, who said of her collection: "There is so much to admire in Gold Passage: the precise music; the strangeness and mystery; the deep wonder expressed in straight narratives and interior, chambered lyrics; a big human heart trying to make some sense of the unknowable world. And too, magical outbursts of image and song--'I bloomed like a goddamned hyacinth' - to which I say Amen."
Selected by the Rumpus as July 2017 Poetry Book of the Month
Paperback / ISBN: 978-1625491619 / Pages: 96 / November 2015, Word Tech Editions / $18.00
Purchase: Amazon / IndieBound / Audiobook
There's a Ghost in this Machine of Air tells the untold history of Western Sonoma County from the Gravenstein Apple to the Laguna de Santa Rosa.
"The first bite of a tangy Gravenstein apple or a stroll through the pastoral beauty of the Laguna de Santa Rosa might never be the same after one reads Iris Jamahl Dunkle’s new book of poetry, There’s a Ghost in this Machine of Air. Dunkle, who lives in Sebastopol, weaves prose, history and imagination together to create a vibrant collection of poems celebrating the west county’s past and present. 'History is part of what I breathe,' Dunkle said. 'It haunts me daily, in a good way.'"
from "Haunting poems give texture to Sonoma County history" by Ariana Reguzzoni
There's a Ghost in this Machine of Air Reviewd by Ann Fisher-Wirth
Barrett Warner on Iris Jamahl Dunkle’s “There’s a Ghost in this Machine of Air”
New Sonoma County Poet Laureate produces poems about local history by Jonah Raskin
Paperback / ISBN 978-0-9965864-7-4/ Pages: 90 / October 2017, Trio House Press/ $16.00
Purchase: Amazon/ IndieBound
“With bright attention, these poems map geographies of land and history and heart. While Iris Jamahl Dunkle writes specifically about particular places and people—some famous and some little known—there is no way to read these poems without understanding the ways she is always writing about you and also about me.”
---Camille T. Dungy, Trophic Cascade
“The poems of Interrupted Geographies are animated by the give-and-take between human life and the land we live on, showing us that we shape only what has already shaped and will continue to shape us. Whether introducing her readers to “the season of want” between winter and spring or the oilmen of nineteenth-century Pithole, Pennsylvania, Iris Jamahl Dunkle proves alert to the beautiful fragility of “life/strung between two pines,” and indeed, nothing in this book is untouched by transformation’s “continual/awakenings.” Between these covers, “the voice of/reason will swim in the deep of the creek—/a forgotten, shadowy trout.” Between these covers, home is “a place that washes/away with each passing rain.” Between these covers, “hope like a hawk’s scream…pierced us until we carried on.” Such hard hope is the reason to turn and return to these wise, fierce poems.”
—Brian Teare, The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven