Bianca Stone

Bianca Stone is the author of Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Octopus Books and Tin House, 2014) and Poetry Comics from the Book of Hours (Pleiades Press, 2014). She lives with her husband, the poet Ben Pease, and their daughter, Odette, in Goshen, Vermont.

Praise

  • This is like moral baroque and also an invitation to make things. I feel enclosed by something guiding here in these poems which feels deeply experienced and it may sound corny but I think Bianca Stone is raising the possibility that writing poems (or writing these poems) is an opportunity to give. Does that constitute a philosophy or a craft. She’s making that.

    —Eileen Myles

  • Bianca Stone is a seeker. Wry, funny, and often thwarted, mired in daily life, metaphysically tormented, afflicted by what she calls “allergies of the soul,” she searches for something deep and meaningful, something ongoing, mysterious, and ineffable. She has the impulse to kneel and be “thunderstruck with language,” to find “the new Eucharist,” to call out to a God who is also searching for God. What is Otherwise Infinite is a rare thing in contemporary American poetry—a spiritual testament.

    —Edward Hirsch, author of Stranger by Night

  • Poetry and comedy are really the same thing; they both depend on a kind of absolute, if also artfully deployed, vulnerability. There is no better proof of this than What is Otherwise Infinite by Bianca Stone. These poems are deadly earnest, but there are some serious truths that can only be revealed in a joking tone: ‘There are wildfires / switching course to worry about. / I take my daughter to the lake and watch her feel the tiny waves. / A seagull lifts a sandwich right from my hands.’ On almost every page, these poems take that kind of journey—from fear through tenderness to transcendence in only a few lines. In short lyrics and long poems, Stone unflinchingly faces her depths, finding surprising light in a dark and frightening time. I feel befriended by this generous book, which understands that, in some ways, happiness and sadness are also the same: ‘I have nothing to give but tears, of which one/ is too much and a whole sea/ not enough.’

    —Craig Morgan Teicher, author of Welcome to Sonnetville, New Jersey

  • “Bianca Stone is a brilliant transcriber of her generation’s emerging pathology and sensibility.”

    —John Ashbery

  • “A brilliant, wildly imaginative mediation on grief and loss and coping with being human and then not being at all.”

    NYLON

  • “Fantastically unsettling and sparks a serious meditation on grief and family, from a distinctly feminine perspective. The result is the feeling that we are witnessing a soul’s intimate reckoning with life. Many poets have attempted to imagine the afterlife, and Stone’s addition to the tradition disrupts it in the best way: she is our Virgilian guide through a wildly conceived purgatorial landscape.”

    The Paris Review

  • “A collection that features a bravely vulnerable beating heart hidden beneath layers of irony and clever misdirection.”

    Publishers Weekly, Starred Review