Eryn Green’s new collection of poetry BEIT is a lyric examination of the idea of home, and how it intersects with the essential human experiences of love, attachment, and loss. Filtered through a Hebrew sense of the letter Bet—the second letter of the Aleph-Bet, and the root of the Hebrew word for home—BEIT explores the connection between the internal and external worlds of poetic expression and spiritual inhabitation.
The collection includes poems addressing the vast constellation of concerns inherently built into a home—family, romance, protection, loss, tenderness, the fear of violence, and one’s place within the natural world—while asking probing questions of how attentive, poetic care might help us to see our shared spaces more clearly. How does the microcosm of the home relate to the broader macrocosmic physical world? Where does language factor into the relation between the self, the spirit, the other, and the planet? And what can poetry do to assuage our grief at the loss of the people and spaces we love in a universe of unavoidable change?
BEIT wants to know just how big the walls of the home might prove to be, how unexpectedly porous and mercurial, and what tessellated universes can be discovered under their aegis. An ecocritical text, the collection looks with wonder and worry at the landscapes which extend and encroach upon the myriad realms of the self and the world, especially the desert. BEIT is always looking at the world with both feet firmly planted in the dirt, and eyes thrown to the heavens.
Eryn Green is assistant professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he also directs the World Literature Program. Green’s first book, Eruv, was selected as the winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize.
“The question of home is at the heart of this work—and of what is it built? Of language? Of history? Of memory? Of family? In playing with the possibilities, these poems concurrently, and carefully, build a home of sound. Beginning with a sound shaped like a tent in the desert, this work finds belonging by finding the beautiful in precise detail and in acts of attention—attention as a mode of loving and of listening to the love emitted by all things. This book makes it present.”
— Cole Swensen, author of Gravesend
“There is happiness in Eryn Green’s poetry, his view of the state of things. This is an astonishing accomplishment at this particular moment in the state of things. He is convincing not only about himself being ‘Happy just to see / uneven fence posts before collapsing.’ A powerful series of poems begins six times with ‘Dear Unimaginable’ which challenges any inability to see, to make an image. But when the poet writes ‘your love becomes the view,’ and of course means he sees his Love in every view, he has also shown that what you love is what you see. This is how a book re-teaches us how to love the world, and proves to us that we can be happy again. I am deeply grateful for these poems.”
— Bin Ramke
"Beit draws its lines along the vivid prospect of its ever-affirmative homing. Where the lines break, home appears."
— Poetry in Review