Elizabeth Arnold's first book of poems documents her struggle with cancer. A book-length sequence of poems, The Reef rockets the reader through a Heraclitean chute of accelerated life experience by way of anecdote, satire, facts from medical science, and lyrical sweep. This multilayered work explores the depths of illness, investigating the way one's attitude toward it changes over time and how one gathers and processes information in order to make sense of it.
"Arnold's poetry, much more mature than most writers' first book, links lyrics, slight narratives, and a bit of satire into a work of glorious affirmation. The book is a splendid read."—Mary Sue Koeppel, Florida Times-Union
"For this commitment to both the autobiographical honesty and aesthetic risk, The Reef should be valuable to anyone who has been waiting for where contemporary American poetry is going."—Agni