Across the Page: Films, Love and Poetry


Stars of the Night Commute by Ana Bozičević (Tarpaulin Sky Press)

Queer poet Ana Bozičević’s first book, Stars of the Night Commute, is an intense and highly lyrical collection of poetry. Born in Zagreb, Croatia, and now a New Yorker, Bozičević is the author of four chapbooks — the fifth, Depth Hoar, will be published by Cinematheque Press in 2010.

The poems in Stars of the Night Commute are filled with dramatic urgency and movement. In “Some Occurrences on the 7:18 to Penn,” Bozičević writes:

“I tell you as a friend. In middle school already I knew I couldn’t love

And later:

“It was so sweet I

teared up like a sentimental father. But really this is

the same father that hit his son. So I
opened my eyes. The train was moving.”

Bozičević’s images are at times startling in their simplicity and precision. In one of the more surprising poems, “Swan,” she describes an almost out of body experience:

“I went to the place I was born
and it plainly was a bride. So I ran after her.

When she turned into a star I swallowed her.
And out of this uneasiness will come
an aster.”

Bozičević’s work is thought-provoking, inspired and unexpected. Highly recommended.

Heather O’Neill’s Top 10 Books of 2009

1. My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman (Henry Holt)

2. Ash by Malinda Lo (Little, Brown)

3. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (Riverhead)

4. The Others by Seba Al-Herz (Seven Stories)* This is a re-release in translation

5. Evidence by Mary Oliver (Beacon)

6. A Field Guide to Deception by Jill Malone (Bywater)

7. The Sky Below by Stacy D’Erasmo (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

8. The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith by Joan Schenkar (St. Martin’s)

9. The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir by Staceyann Chin (Scribner)

10. This One’s Going to Last Forever by Nairne Holtz (Insomniac Press).

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