The Local World

2010 Wick Poetry Prize Winner

2012 da Vinci Eye Award Finalist for best cover

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Praise for The Local World:

“This is a stunning debut collection full of elegant and tender poems that dramatize a personal yet universal struggle to understand and transform the past.” —Ploughshares, Editor’s Shelf

The Local World is more than exercise, more than experiment, more than tradition, more, even, than language or form. As much as it highlights them, it also renders questions of the nature of poetry irrelevant, or at least secondary in the act of reading this collection. Something greater is at stake… Rosenthal’s first collection is an illuminated landscape of process, one that makes clear why we need poems to brave the darkness.”—The Literary Review (read the full review)

“The ground on which this speaker stands is solid, borne of effort and inquiry and that small but sure measure of grace given to those who open themselves to the breaking…”Borderlands (read the full review)

“Rosenthal is unflinching in the face of pain… This poetry is literate, visually acute, and… tempered by beauty and the clear-eyed visions the poems convey.”—Small Press Review (read the full review)

“What an eye for the precise detail this poet has, and what wild music! In The Local World, Mira Rosenthal has retrieved from a damaged landscape and history a new world of startling wholeness and beauty.” —Maggie Anderson, Judge for the Wick Poetry Prize

“In Mira Rosenthal’s stunning debut collection, The Local World, memory is not a static screen for nostalgia but a fierce journey into the self where danger resides… Rosenthal is both a traveler and a thinker. Her poems, elegant marvels, dramatize her personal struggle to understand and transform the past. This is a dynamic book, one to read and reread.” —Maura Stanton, author of Immortal Sofa

“With an alertly startling intelligence, fullness of feeling, and supple voice, Mira Rosenthal travels the selvage-borders of being. These poems make a path between foreign and familial; between post-modern modes of knowing and a story-teller’s narrative comprehensions; between fidelity to the outer world’s registers of creatures, objects, and waters and interior worlds whose beauties are made purely by language. One underlying theme here is continuance in the face of pain; another is the dual-poled magnet of agency and observation; a third is the gift of transmutation, of poetry itself: ‘a motion, / churning the simple milk of life to the butter / churned milk and salt eventually become.’” —Jane Hirshfield, author of Come, Thief

“The poems in this stark collection feel as if they have arrived just after casting off emotional ballast. A burden has been carried from the familiar world, and over time and distance, that load has been dispersed. And now the poet returns, halfway between grief and transcendence, but in that dark return lies hope.” —Maurice Manning, author of The Common Man

“The poems of The Local World, Mira Rosenthal’s elegant first book,engage the necessity of reencountering the past, of ‘keeping the wound fresh for grafting’ until language can build a present freed from the lingering definitions of childhood. But these poems, testifying as they do to Rosenthal’s faith in poetry’s music and its capacity to find a pattern in experience, do not reject the past.  Rather, their often luminous depths reveal the ways in which the found self, no longer an exile, joins the past to a present redefined by poetry’s lyrical power to lead us forward into the unknown.”—Maxine Scates, author of Undone

“[Rosenthal] writes with intellect and wit without gimmickry. Without wearing her heart on her sleeve, she lets her readers experience the strong emotions that inform the poems. The collection is consummate.”—Carol Frost, author of Honeycomb