An unnamed speaker navigates a world where God comes in the shape of a cardinal, speaks in the voice of Georgia O’Keeffe, and paints the desert with bones.
Driven by sound, heartbreak, and the baffling limits and possibilities of language, a nameless speaker sets out into a dream-like wilderness where lyric and narrative meet, time dissolves, and figures as various as Moses, the apostle Paul, Virginia Woolf, Blaise Pascal, and Zora Neale Hurston gather in a colloquy. Born from a region of preachers and stuttering prophets, from the gift of tongues and psalms of lament and praise, Pascal’s Fire negotiates the wonder of the unknown and the tension of belief and confronts the vulnerability of speech where it brushes up against death and grief, wind and desert heat, unquenchable thirst and the steady sound of an IV drip.
Praise for Pascal’s Fire
“Speaking in tongues, Bresnen makes an impressive name for herself in this debut colloquy; she notices, and should be noticed.”
“This book, these writings, these poems and notes and quotes; this eloquent stutter of words burning the fire that doesn’t consume, that dances in tongues, that is written on a piece of paper and sewn into the lining of a jacket: I’m all ears, every page.”
—John Terpstra, author of Wild Hope: Prayers & Poems