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Broadstone Books, 2021

Cover art: Three Rivers by Connie DeFlitch

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The way the poems pay attention to their neighbors, so to speak, is what fills the book with such painful grace, miracles that are gritty and raw. Buy this book for the people you love. Maybe also for the people you don’t love. It will give them hope.

—Mekeel McBride, author of Dog Delicatessen

These are poems of visiting the outskirts—the edges of rooms, deserts, amusement parks and cities. They’re about never fitting in and never knowing how to be in the moment, the reverberations of grief refusing to let us settle down. So what a surprise then, that Confluence also offers much in the way of consolation. Turns out that along
the peripheries is still plenty of wonder.

—Shelley Girdner, author You Were That White Bird

In Samantha DeFlitch's terrific debut Pittsburgh is a liminal ghost world made a place of transformation and possibility by way of exile and loneliness. Only Pittsburgh can be more than Pittsburgh, as Jack Gilbert taught us. DeFlitch has taken the lesson to heart.

—David Rivard, author of Standoff

Throughout Confluence, DeFlitch reminds us of how we all try to make sense of and come to peace with things far out of our control. She teaches us how to appreciate the lessons that come with each season of recovery and transition, and how something as innocent as peeling an orange or watching a bird can hold the depth of epiphany. 

—Emily DeYoung, review in Sundress

There is something magical about the way Samantha DeFlitch has stitched the poems in Confluence together. The repetition of certain words—especially “old,” “dog,” and “woman”—throughout the book give the feeling of a series of ghazals pulled apart and then gently woven into the manuscript. As a result, poems call to each other in a way reminiscent of the couplets of a ghazal.

—Kathy Davis, review on website

At the most basic level, the title describes the confluence of rivers around Pittsburgh. But, of course, "confluence" is a perfect natural metaphor for all the things that come together to make up an imagination, a soul. This is typical of DeFlitch's genius (and I think I am going to stick with that word for this writer). She is able to find the powerful natural metaphors—or lately I've been thinking I should use the word "symbols" instead; it seems to carry something of the visceral quality that I don't hear in "metaphor."

—Keith Taylor, review on Goodreads

Book: Reviews
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