Paperback Price: $15.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-938584-33-6

Selected Poem


No amount of prayer or balm can fix this.
Your body cannot find north.

It is entirely dark.

You are a sad twin, standing at the bed's edge,
counting your mistakes.

A man leaves, says you have a knife
where your heart should be.

This is why the compass won't obey you,
why the doctors can't find your pulse.

It is dark. Entirely.

The Blessing of Dark Water

“Lyon’s humble and empathetic poems are wrought with tangible emotion.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This elegant sequence by Elizabeth Lyons floats and scares, is wife and stranger, is transformation and wish of a poet who has disappeared into the actual life of one Walter Anderson—painter, potter, sculptor—who also speaks here, taking his skiff into the bayou when his troubled manic states hit. But this is 70-some years later, his mind and work rock-bottomed and re-dreamt through this remarkable series: epic, lyric, a kind of dizzy and exact ars poetica in the process.”
—Marianne Boruch

“In this essential debut collection, Elizabeth Lyons takes us on a journey through the dark waters of mental illness. We are told ‘there is a scale to rate this devastation,’ but even as we traverse this harrowing landscape, there is ‘beauty too:/ the creature/ sliding through the swamp.’ These poems are infused with contradiction: discovery and pain, blood and healing. Ultimately, The Blessing of Dark Water is wrenching in its investigation of the artistic urge as tempered by the transformative power of suffering.”
—Amy Quan Barry


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