The Burning Key: New & Selected Poems (1973-2023)

The Burning Key: New & Selected Poems (1973-2023)

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THE BURNING KEY: New & Selected Poems (1973-2023) by Beatrix Gates

Thera Books is thrilled to announce the forthcoming publication of poet Beatrix Gates’ The Burning Key: New & Selected Poems (1973-2023) on August 17, 2023. Featuring new work, poetry from limited editions, and selections from previously published books, selected by the author, The Burning Key is a meditation on hope as resistance. 


“Like witnessing a holy physics, this collection grabs our greatest potentials of mind, soul, and revolutionary praxis. Gates’ talent for motion through convergence makes all phenomena music. You will exit this collection transformed." –Tongo Eisen-Martin

" 'Disturbance, are you my valentine?' asks Beatrix Gates at the outset of The Burning Key, her collected poems representing fifty years of provocative and prodigious work. In sui generis waves of imagistic associations, Gates unpacks this core question through surrealism and fantastical portraitures, prosodic comic tragedies, or lyrical poems of love and loss. Above all, hope wafts. Gates’s The Burning Key delivers not a retrospective body of work, but a collection that is at once ominous and formidable. Each poem is as defiant of time as it is of “valentine’s” ferment, key to desire." –Rosa Lane

“Here, ‘alder thickets clear,’ an eclipse turns everything red, and ‘the evidence of flowers’ proliferates. In The Burning Key, Beatrix Gates stays close to the moments when planetary, relational logics dissipate, re-constellating in ways we could not have imagined and did not: ‘the big darkening green head’ of a dying horse, or -- what it is ‘to see more and to see less’ as an on-going mode of survivance. As Gates writes: ‘The veins carried the information.’ Sometimes the information is a question, sometimes it's a face. This is a collection written close to life, mouth to the poem, ‘listening/ to the end of dreaming and fighting to be heard.’ ” –Bhanu Kapil

"The poise of these poems can’t subdue the deep feeling in them. Gates, daughter and activist, teacher and friend, has adopted the casual, readable style of the New York School of poetry to recount visions and events from the late seventies on. The collection of poems is very helpful to a reader who wants to remember the actions, marches, people, jailings, and conversations at street level. This fine poetry lifts it all up and lets it fly again." –Fanny Howe

Cover Artwork by Ellen Driscoll