“Must-Read Poetry Debut”: Sheila Squillante’s Beautiful Nerve

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Literary Hub just posted a lit of thirty must-read poetry debuts from 2015, complete with some background from the poets. On the list, Beautiful Nerve by Pittsburgh’s Sheila Squillante!

What were some of the important inspirations behind this debut collection?

I tell everyone this is an anxious book that reflects its anxious author. Anxieties arise from bodily disorientation and breakdown, recurring dreams and fears that go with them, misunderstandings and missed understandings (if you see the difference) between people—lovers, others. The collection is braided with these things. You can find them. I am a motif seeker in life as in poems. I search for the recurring note, and then listen for to it change, slightly bent, askew. This brings me much pleasure. I prefer the lateral, the peripheral, the sidelong. As Suzanne Vega said in 1987, ‘if you want me, you can find me left of center, off of the strip. In the outskirts, in the fringes, in the corner out of the grip.'”

 
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