A poetic retelling of Noah's Ark set in the near future, Ceive is a novella in verse that recounts a post-apocalyptic journey aboard a container ship.
This contemporary flood narrative unfolds through poems following the perspective of a woman named Val, who is found in the wreckage of her flooding home by a former UPS delivery man. As environmental and political catastrophes force them to flee the Eastern Seaboard, Val and her rescuer take refuge alongside a group of pilgrims seeking refuge from the catastrophic collapse of a civilization destroyed by gun violence, climate crisis, and social unrest.
The ship of cargo and refugees is run by the captain Nolan and his wife Nadia, who set sail for Greenland, now warmed to a temperate climate. The couple place Val in charge of caring for a neurodivergent young boy who holds knowledge of analog navigation. Mourning her missing daughter, Val experiences both isolation and a wellspring of compassion in survival, an indefatigable need to connect. She and the other pilgrims weather illness and peril, boredom and conflict, deprivation and despair as they set sail across stormy, unfamiliar waters.
Drawing from the Anglo-Saxon poem "The Seafarer," the Bible, and the Latin root word for receive, Ceive is a vision of eco-cataclysm and survival--inviting meditations on biodiversity, illness, social law, sustenance, scripture, menopause, sensory perception, human bonds, caregiving, and loss, all the while extending a call for renewal and hope.
About the Author
B.K. Fischer is the author of Ceive (BOA, 2021) and four previous books of poetry: Radioapocrypha (Mad Creek Books, 2018), which won the 2018 The Journal/Wheeler Prize; My Lover's Discourse (Tinderbox, 2018); St. Rage's Vault (The Word Works, 2013), which won the Washington Prize; and Mutiny Gallery (Truman State University Press, 2011), winner of the 2011 T.S. Eliot Prize. She is also the author of a critical study Museum Mediations: Reframing Ekphrasis in Contemporary American Poetry (Routledge, 2006). Her poems and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Kenyon Review, Boston Review, Jacket2, FIELD, WSQ, Ninth Letter, Blackbird, Los Angeles Review of Books, Modern Language Studies, and elsewhere. Fischer holds a BA from the Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University, an MFA in poetry from Columbia University, and a PhD in English and American Literature from New York University. A former poetry editor of Boston Review, she teaches The Comma Sutra, a course on grammar and syntax for creative practice, in the School of the Arts at Columbia University. She lives in Sleepy Hollow, New York with her husband and three children.