Amply praised by respected peers like Ada Limón, Adam Clay’s writing is euphoric yet accessible; direct yet powerful. Stranger, his third collection, has such an incredible forward motion that forget where I am while reading. Clay explores the disorientations of transition but rejects a good existential wallow, with each poem instead insisting that “the space/ a body holds in any moment/is a marker of something greater/ than ourselves.”
Stranger is a book of both great change and deep roots, of the most rich elements of the earth and the instability of a darkening sky. The third collection by Adam Clay dives into a dynamic world where the only map available is "not of the world / but of the path I took to arrive in this place, / a map with no real definable future purpose." Tracing a period of great change in his life--a move, a new job, the birth of his first child--Clay navigates the world with elegance and wonder, staring into the heart of transition and finding in it the wisdom that "Despite our best efforts to will it shut, / the proof of the world's existence / can best be seen in its insistence, / in its opening up." By firmly grasping on to the present, the past and the future collapse into the lived moment, allowing for an unclouded view of a way forward.
About the Author
Adam Clay is the author of two previous books of poetry, The Wash (Free Verse Editions 2006) and A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World (Milkweed Editions 2012). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Poetry Daily, Crab Orchard Review, Boston Review, and elsewhere. He co-edits TYPO Magazine and teaches at the University of Illinois Springfield. He lives in Illinois with his wife and daughter.