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The Slip

Kary Wayson

2020

Winner of the 2017 Burnside Review Press Book Award, selected by Suzanne Buffam.

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Kary Wayson is the author of The Slip, selected by Suzanne Buffam as the winner of the 2017 Burnside Review Press Book Award, and American Husband, selected for the Charles B. Wheeler Prize and published by The Ohio State University Press. Her work has been included in the Best American Poetry series, received a Pushcart Prize, and was chosen by James Tate for the Lynda Hull Memorial Poetry Prize from Crazyhorse. She lives in Seattle.

“Kary Wayson entrusts her whole art to the ludic music of language, seeking its way, syllable by syllable, phrase by sprightly turn of phrase, through way stations of feeling. She is funny and devastated and electrifying at every turn: ‘...he held down my knot ⁄ with a finger in the center the ⁄ better to tie my bow—’; ‘I’ve followed my thinking like a man out driving ⁄ —and just back there he missed the turn.’ These poems make me laugh out loud and blink back sudden tears. Mostly, though, they leave me slack-jawed at their lexical, logical, and wildly various tonal grace. For anyone seeking to survive primal loss and keep singing, Kary Wayson shows the way.”

—Suzanne Buffam


The Slip is a lesson in music. The nuances of syntax and line break here are not just poetic measures: they’re roadmaps. These poems show us how to breathe. This is the kind of lyricism that lets us slow down and live. And that, dear reader, is precisely why I love Kary Wayson’s work.”

—Ilya Kaminsky