C Dylan Bassett

The Unpainted Shore


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The Unpainted Shore

The Unpainted Shore



It was October after my father died. All the fountains sealed. I walked through a

garden unapologetically. Correction: I was the garden and it was painful to be a

body. Dark birds covered me. Correction: I was a murder of dark birds moving

from roof to roof. Correction: I was a murmur. I drank the rain.




“Bassett’s The Unpainted Shore is a meditation—unabridged, and yet so studiously incompleting—upon how grief is figured within the body in a world that remains both beautiful and unbroken.  The lake is nothing’s parable, Bassett observes—Selfhood occurs, but merely as proxy. Likewise these poems, with their particular gravities and faint but exquisite phosphorescences.”

— G.C. Waldrep

“This is a splendid first collection. C Dylan Bassett is a poet given, through peril and through candor to keen instruction. Taking note of each precipice (the eye is a precipice), mapping the edge of every observation, he articulates a world. The world is ours.”

— Donald Revell

“C Dylan Bassett has written us a marvelous and wrenching debut collection of poems—The Unpainted Shore unflinchingly traces the surreal interiority of post-loss, its indignities and necessities, implicating us in its heartbroken wonder. Stillness expanding like an intruder entering / the room. It lies at the foot of the stairs, / fluent in hook and spoon. These poems are beautifully strange and tender. They labor faithfully to interrogate and dismantle the solitude of memory, a deer stepping out of its skin, an undoing not to be missed. How lucky we are to have this book.”

— Wendy Xu