Ugly Duckling Presse

Of: Vol. I
Of: Vol. I

Ossian Foley

Poetry | $14 $12
Buy"Right at the tip of perception, where all is, by necessity, brilliantly new."

Of: Vol. I worries about relationship and structure: traditional to experimental styles; discord to order; things in the head to things in the world; novelty to miscarriage; affirmation to scrutiny; for starters. The volume worries the way metaphors and language from one magesteria may sound much like those from another and nitpicks the perhaps common origins or the perhaps common phenotypes, and the often common locus within a given individual. Of: Vol. I imperfectly imitates and externalizes the neurological mechanism of psychological and cultural transmission whereby in part we form images of ourselves and know the internal states of others. The volume is a niche in which individual minds thrive and it is an individual which exploits the niche of other minds. The volume is an oar carried inland.

Excerpt ˇ


novelty if not—this
somehow shall affirm—this
nature borne by those
implosion or impulsion
all incident upon—
Close ˆ

About the Author

Ossian Foley
Photo credit: Erin Shafkind

Ossian Foley has been a research fellow at The Center for the Study of Science and Religion at Columbia University and a Teaching and Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. With James Longley, Foley edits LVNG Magazine, published by Flood Editions. He currently divides his time between Tallahassee, FL and Port Townsend, WA. 

Advance Praise

Foley’s poems have a Neo-romantic soul, conjuring conversations with Hopkins, Yeats and Crane. Cerebral and stringently-voiced, they compel me. They make me curious. They lead with authority. And they reward my patience as they require their reader to listen.—Erin Belieu
These poems mix mathematical precision with the innate messiness of human life. They’re a language haunted by time itself, infusing a rare emotion into glimmers and flickers. Through his stunning distillations, Foley poises the reader right at the tip of perception, where all is, by necessity, brilliantly new.—Cole Swensen
If poetry is the mirror system for language, in which metaphors from one realm of knowledge express themselves in the form of another, then Of: Vol. I is a neural pathway from the oceanic feeling of that system to a high dry desert where an oar carried inland is mistaken as a threshing rod. Read it and reap. —Peter O'Leary