Tess Taylor

Rift Zone

“Brilliant . . . Rooted in the shifting California landscape, this elegiac yet hopeful book is . . . dedicated to grieving the world as we know it.” —Ada Limón, author of The Carrying
This collection of poems traces literal and metaphoric fault lines—rifts between past and present, childhood and adulthood, what is and what was. Circling Tess Taylor’s hometown—an ordinary California suburb lying along the Hayward fault—these poems unearth strata that include a Spanish land grant, a bloody land grab, gun violence, valley girls, strip malls, redwood trees, and the painful history of Japanese internment.
Taylor’s ambitious and masterful poems read her home state’s historic violence against our world’s current unsteadinesses—mass eviction, housing crises, deportation, inequality. They also ponder what it means to try to bring up children along these rifts. What emerges is a powerful core sample of America at the brink—equally tuned to maternal and to geologic time. At once sorrowful and furious, tender and fierce, Rift Zone is startlingly observant, relentlessly curious—a fearsome tremor of a book.
“Taylor vividly and memorably renders the complexities of an America of violence and rifts.” —Publishers Weekly
“Unearthing and sifting the seismic layers of her own East Bay locale, she’s created a haunting American elegy.” —Jonathan Lethem, author of The Feral Detective
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