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My Thieves is a study of the relationships between the visual and literary arts, and is also a meditation on the nature of creativity and artistic authenticity. Paquin, a poet with great interest in painting and the visual arts in general, writes about those artists across disciplines who’ve influenced him using a wide range of poetic structures and forms. At the heart of the book is the concern that perhaps the creative individual is merely an imitator of all the art he has ever admired; at the book’s center is the fear that the “self” is just a collection of other selves absorbed through one’s lifetime.
‘My Thieves both confronts and attests beyond the wreckage of lyric expression to renewed, revived musics that abide by their own ruins. Through daring jarrings of genre distinctions, these poems examine their own processes in novelistic expanse, blues song mutation, and in hieroglyphs conveying the eros of suspicion as well as a humble and humane dedication to beauty various and mutable.’ —Dean Young
‘F]ormally accomplished poems ... This is an author capable of a genuinely moving rawness of sincerity’ —Laura Mullen, New Review of Literature
‘Ethan Paquin’s [poems] are knife-edge sharp ... he works both skillfully and elegantly with his tools – his words ... Paquin’s language is nothing but evocative.’ —Paula Koneazny, Verse
‘[Paquin’s] visceral emphases sometimes bring to mind the spell-casting poetry of Robert Duncan, at other times a scrambled postmodern Dylan Thomas.’ —Publishers Weekly
‘Paquin knows how to enter language and walk in it, so that his experience seems remarkably universal.’ —Alexis Smith, Tarpaulin Sky