with an introduction by Diane Wakoski
What happens when the ex-wife of an ex-cop, with a penchant for TV detectives, speculates about her own disappearance? Poet, Carol Lynne Knight mixes imaginary investigations with the intimate, often stark, realities of life as the wife of a street cop. If I Go Missing mixes of the sensual with procedural detail in a surprising, original new trope.
In this riveting collection, Carol Lynne Knight serves as detective, victim, and villain in smoky, noir poems at once sultry and dangerous, direct and nuanced, all “speech merged with speed, with confession,” visiting the daily rituals of entrapment and escape among bullets, grocery bills, and late night vodka. How to reconcile the mundane with the thrill of the rescue, the “ruptured life” reforming itself somewhere beyond betrayal, where the poet finds herself again and again in unexpected ways—and somehow, in reading, we found ourselves as well. If I Go Missing spirals toward its own transcendence—not outward, but inward—an escape back into one’s own beloved life, a disappearance and an emergency and an emergence.
—Chad Sweeney, author of Little Million Doors and Parable of Hide and Seek
In Carol Lynne Knight’s If I Go Missing, her fearless speaker invokes the phrase “find me” as a mantra to a host of fictional detectives from Columbo to Kurt Wallander. Using vivid, voice-driven narratives and lush, figurative language, Knight’s poems combine postulation and autobiography to carefully interrogate the tension between idealized TV detectives and the hard domestic realities of living with a cop during and after the 1980 McDuffie Riots in Miami. Part persona and part investigation of self, this book plumbs how we extend our deepest yearnings into imaginary realms and how we grapple with violence, love, danger, and betrayal. If I Go Missing is an utterly unique hymn to human fragility and failure and ultimately holds up the twin powers of desire and imagination as our most reliable redeemer.
—Erika Meitner, author of Useful Junk and Holy Moly Carry Me
Carol Lynne Knight
is the co-director of Anhinga Press, where she supervises production, and designs covers and text, and edits books. She is the author of three books of poetry, If I Go Missing (Fernwood Press, 2022), A Fretted Terrain, Like Mars (Apalachee Press, 2020) and Quantum Entanglement (Apalachee Press, 2010). She is the co-editor of Snakebird: Thirty Years of Anhinga Poets.
Her poetry has appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Louisiana Literature, Tar River Review, Poetry Motel, Earth’s Daughters, The Ledge, Slipstream, Broome Review, J, Comstock Review, Northwest Florida Review, Epicenter, Redactions, Iconoclast, Epicenter, HazMat, So to Speak, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Cagibi, Rivet, Slink Chunk and in the anthologies Off the Cuffs (Soft Skull Press), Touched by Eros (Live Poets Society), The Poets Guide to the Birds (Anhinga Press), Beloved on the Earth (Holy Cow! Press), and North of Wakulla (Anhinga Press).
Born in Michigan, she grew up in South Florida and graduated from the University of Miami and Florida State University with degrees in Art Education. She has exhibited her drawings, pottery, sculpture and computer images in the eastern U.S. In other lives, she has worked as an art teacher, potter, videographer, and graphic designer. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida. Author Website: carollynneknight.com