This contemporary flood narrative unfolds through poems following the perspective of a woman named Val, who is found in the wreckage of her flooding home by a former UPS delivery man. As environmental and political catastrophes force them to flee the Eastern Seaboard, Val and her rescuer take refuge alongside a group of pilgrims seeking refuge from the catastrophic collapse of a civilization destroyed by gun violence, climate crisis, and social unrest.
The ship of cargo and refugees is run by the captain Nolan and his wife Nadia, who set sail for Greenland, now warmed to a temperate climate. The couple place Val in charge of caring for a neurodivergent young boy who holds knowledge of analog navigation. Mourning her missing daughter, Val experiences both isolation and a wellspring of compassion in survival, an indefatigable need to connect. She and the other pilgrims weather illness and peril, boredom and conflict, deprivation and despair as they set sail across stormy, unfamiliar waters.
Drawing from the Anglo-Saxon poem The Seafarer, the Bible, and the Latin root word in receive, Ceive is a vision of eco-cataclysm and survival—inviting meditations on biodiversity, illness, social law, sustenance, scripture, menopause, sensory perception, human bonds, caregiving, and loss, all the while extending a call for renewal and hope.
“When the Flood comes for us, how do we recognize it as emergency? What from our old lives do we lack, and how do we make meaning out of formlessness and chaos? B.K. Fischer’s strikingly imaginative, wry yet tragic novella-in-verse tells the story of a contemporary Noah’s Ark set on a container ship in the Atlantic Ocean, a refuge from a world that’s been submerged. But as much as the apocalyptic drama drives Ceive’s overall plot, the engine of each of these poems remains always and unfailingly language itself, as Fischer delivers exquisitely layered word-machines, rich in overlapping textures of allusion and noise. This book is a wonder, and now is the moment we need it most.”
—Monica Ferrell, author of You Darling Thing
“We live in an unsustainable and contradictory age: ‘Left means what’s staying, and left means who went.’ Conceived in a period of undeniable ecological crisis compounded by a violent political climate and surging pandemic, Ceive could not be more timely. In a loose translation of the flood myth, Fischer transports her characters from a drowning world, conceivably but without certainty, to dry land via freight containers off the North American coast. Drawing from The Seafarer, Timothy Morton, Joan Miró, ancient myth, Hélène Cixous, and the deepest well of linguistic brilliance I’ve ever encountered, Fischer offers a future of possibility but no promise.”
—Aby Kaupang, author of NOS (disorder, not otherwise specified)
Praise for B.K. Fischer’s Radioapocrypha:
“Fischer remixes Scripture with 1980s nostalgia in a smart novella-in-verse that impressively balances high- and low-brow elements….Fischer handles the inherent power imbalance of this dynamic with wit, grace, and a complex yearning: ‘Each year my faith decays by half, then half again. / In this way it is infinite.’ Swapping the crucifixion for a ghastly car crash, Fischer produces a work as smart, satisfying, and nuanced in its climax as it is as a whole.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“The New Testament gets a remix in poet B. K. Fischer’s verse novella Radioapocrypha, a pagan rejoinder to the biblical story of redemption. An homage to a 1980s adolescence, it might also be one of the more necessary poetry collections for 2018: Fischer lends us nuanced ways of thinking about faith and fakes, secular shamans and sexual misconduct, deceit and devotion. In polyphonic lyrics and prose poems, she tells a story about a teenage girl that makes us come of age, all over again, and rethink our archetypes for prophecy and the divine.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books
Praise for Mutiny Gallery:
“Self-assured, lyric, and deeply moving, B.K. Fischer is a mesmerizing [writer]. …Fischer pulls off an array of shifting tones, a complex and believable weave of voices. The shifts in tone are like the give-and-take of light when swimming in extraordinarily deep-water: peril is counterbalanced by fierce delight, then shot through with fear, and then steadied, despite all circumstance.”