Still, the Sky is a speculative mythology rendered through poetry and art that combines the tales of Icarus and the Minotaur and creates for them a shared coming-of-age through a correspondence of written fragments, artifacts, ecofacts, and ephemera. The resulting narrative becomes a labyrinth of fragmented memories, confessions, and tributes—and these mix throughout as fever dreams and meditations on innocence and experience, flight and failure, love and loss.
The second child is the minotaur itself, resident of that labyrinth, the half-man/half-bull offspring facilitated by Daedalus’s genius. In sharply vivid verse, powered by yearning and precision of language, Pearson imagines a shared childhood for the two on the island of Crete, growing toward their tragic fates with “Mothers’ milk withdrawn, fathers’ care deported.” Pearson explores their youth, their loneliness, their understanding of who they are, how they thank “the darkness for / The cloak under which to share this silent awe, / This togetherness”. In Pearson’s handling, these figures maintain their sense of ancient mystery while still coming to rich, moving life, “The miserable children of those committing / Atrocities we couldn’t comprehend, yet.” These lives are presented in sometimes literal correspondence, inviting readers to connect with hearts that the myths and most retellings don’t dig into deeply.
A work of originality and power, Still, the Sky originated as part of a broader multi-media project incorporating theatrical production and visual art; the poetry, written in non-rigid quatrains, has the expressive clarity of dramatic monologues. Illustrating the text is Pearson’s marvelous, allusive mixed-media art, which incorporate miniatures, wooden boxes, fossils, lotus and seed pods, and more to suggest labyrinths, dreaming, inventions, and a sense of life fading away.
Takeaway: With originality and power, this collection imagines the lives and hearts of Icarus and the minotaur.
Great for fans of: Analicia Sotelo’s Virgin, Roberto Colasso.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
Book Launch event with reading and music.