Declaration For Your Bones

$10 US

I don’t know of another collection as interrogative as Duane Esposito’s Declaration For Your Bones, but his questions are posed within a poetics of discovery that keeps us with him all the way to and through “Where might we find love?” He senses himself as “the single, black cloud/hovering inside our home,” a home of traumatic memory forking both ways within a marriage, a love that is “a knotted, purple, / nameless, strange affliction,” and one that is also necessary and sustaining. This fine book is Esposito’s starkest, its affirmation coming, if it does at all, in its uncompromised and earned austerity which, in the end, must, and does, serve both him and us.

William Heyen

ISBN 978-0-938999-53-9
About the Author

Deeply intimate, these meditations illuminate the shared skin of our common fears, celebrate our courage and frailty, as we labor to understand how and why we go on. This work is the act of soul-making, of intense spiritual exploration. The language jolts and smolders, singes with truth. Duane Esposito is a gifted poet.

Gladys Henderson

Duane Esposito is a writer who bares himself—and bares his love—radically, to the point of a psychic nakedness, a startled transparency, as if we had witnessed more than the daily coverings stripped away, but the skin itself. Like the touring Bodies exhibition, shocking us, educating us with a view of exposed organs and bone.

Barbara Barnard from
“Dark and Beautiful Places,” American Book Review

In inquiring about the quality of love and its survival, Esposito goes way beyond the “confessional” poet and presents us with the bones of human love and loss, their wounds and iridescence, our failures and our faltering steps toward knowing. Such honesty and courage to look at things as they are is rare in contemporary American poetry. Esposito bridges philosophical questioning, emotional intensity and artistic attention to detail. The result is a stunning and spare work that cannot be ignored.

Pramila Venkateswaran from
“The Dislocation of the Outer World,” Poetry Bay

Esposito’s questioning declares in the way that Rilke does. Like Rilke, whose specter is conjured in the book’s epigraph, Esposito cries out to the angels’ hierarchies in an attempt to gaze into the abyss and give an accounting of “all the words / we didn’t say / & all the words / we did.” If not declaration, then the book borders on prayer: the poems are confessions to a God that isn’t exactly there and to “all the angels…too thin for any common yielding.”

Tim Wood from
“Duane Esposito’s Declaration for Your Bones,” The Iowa Review

About the Author

DUANE ESPOSITO is a Professor of English at Nassau Community College. He has an MA from SUNY Brockport and an MFA from the University of Arizona. His work was selected by Diane Glancy for an Academy of American Poets Award and his poems have been published in dozens of journals. His collections are The Book of Bubba (Brown Dog Press, 1998), Cadillac Battleship (brokenTribe Press, 2005), Declaration for Your Bones (Yuganta Press, 2012), Dropping Death, a collaboration with Ralph Nazareth (Yuganta Press, 2018), and Panic’s Hymn, a reissue / re-imagining of Cadillac Battleship (GloveBox Poems, 2018). He lives on Long Island—on Lopsided Farm—with his wife, daughter, son, and many animals.