descansos, dancing girl press, December, 2015.

This is a chapbook of poetry. (Thirty pages including front matter.)

The title refers to the memorials, most often crosses, that are frequently erected by the side of the road in Mexico and other places, marking where a person has died.

The book is a series of poems about a close friend of mine who was killed in an accident near Puerto Vallarta in 2013.

Praise for descansos:

“Although her stated sensibility is Buddhist, reading the collection reminded me of that Daoist story from Chuang Tzu of the ‘Dexterous Butcher’ whose sensitivity to the spaces between joints kept his knife blade sharp through thousands of uses. Hunter also has a deftness in the breaking of her lines: a sensitivity to the spaces of language and the strangeness and meaning that are added to story-telling when attention, precision and craft come together.

… The subject is serious and the gaze unflinching and honest. Her ability to make language and image strange, ensures we look deeper. It does what good poetry does and tells us about ‘the moment, what is in front/ of us now’ (yogi).”
—Angela Gardner, foam:e. (full review)

“Memory can never let go, but memory leads, paradoxically, to release. Memories, then, are themselves descansos. Hunter’s chapbook is an unflinching examination of grief, but grief without the self-pity …”
The Potomac. (full review)

One of the poems in this manuscript, “dust,” won second prize in the 2014 Tom Collins Poetry Prize. Here is a copy of a section of the Judge’s Report:

“‘dust’ reads as though it has been translated from the lyrical Spanish of a South American surrealist, such as César Vallejo. It seems to have antecedents far removed from Australian influences; while surreal in character, ‘dust’ also has the intensely personal and expressive quality of the New York School poets, such as John Ashbery. The poem describes a car accident, or more correctly, the relationship of the poet to a car accident, or better still, the kaleidoscopic emotional entanglement of the poet in relation to a car accident. This poem impresses, because it is so ambitious. Rose Hunter is performing on a high wire in this poem, and despite the risks, she does not fall. In many ways, ‘dust’ is Australian poetry in exile.”

To buy the chapbook, click the cover and/or the publisher website (above).