You Are Still Alive
2018 Winner of the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award
by William Stobb
paperback, 81 pages
"Each poem in You Are Still Alive introduces itself with wistful, comic nihilism, but grows into a compassionate, fearless friend. It's as though the reader had been dropped into the mind of a loving, funny, humble, infinitely generous, nimble-minded Buddhist monk brought up on classic science fiction. The monk's musings honor the marvelous strangeness of each passing moment, never losing sight of the yawning maw of the dubious future. His contemplations are both heartening and sobering. The poems' animated cosmic hospitality bring our greatest and smallest concerns into perfectly calibrated relation as they ponder consciousness, technology, freedom, the future, the worldly, how to lead a virtuous life without being an annoying prig, how flawed and destructive humans are, how to be inventively fair-minded in at least five dimensions, and what life forms might come after us, stumbling on the ruins of our so-called civilization."
"William Stobb's work moves elegantly between restlessness and peace, an appreciation for the bizarreness of life and a desire for simplicity. In balancing these extremes, his poems create a feeling of movement toward reconciliation, if not its realization. To repurpose his own words, he builds a space in which the 'emotional life / inflected by the brightness of wit / puts its arm around the intellect'. This book is a rare and beautiful accomplishment."