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By: B.K. Fischer

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Regular price $17.00

About This Title

A poetic retelling of Noah’s Ark set in the near future, Ceive is a novella-in-verse that recounts a post-apocalyptic journey aboard a container ship.

The narrative unfolds through poems following the perspective of a woman named Val, who is found in the wreckage of her flooding home by a former UPS delivery man. As environmental and political catastrophes force them to flee the Eastern Seaboard, Val and her rescuer take refuge alongside a group of pilgrims seeking refuge from the catastrophic collapse of a civilization destroyed by gun violence, climate crisis, and social unrest.

The ship of cargo and refugees is run by the captain Nolan and his wife Nadia, who set sail for Greenland, now warmed to a temperate climate. The couple place Val in charge of caring for a neurodivergent young boy who holds knowledge of analog navigation. Mourning her missing daughter, Val experiences both isolation and a wellspring of compassion in survival, an indefatigable need to connect. She and the other pilgrims weather illness and peril, boredom and conflict, deprivation and despair as they set sail across stormy, unfamiliar waters.

Drawing from the Anglo-Saxon poem The Seafarer, the Bible, and the Latin root word in receive, Ceive is a vision of eco-cataclysm and survival—inviting meditations on biodiversity, illness, social law, sustenance, scripture, menopause, sensory perception, human bonds, caregiving, and loss, all the while extending a call for renewal and hope.

Excerpt from "Preconceive"

Val, don’t forget about
Type-one conditionality,
a habitual occurrence: if

it rains heavily, the valley
. Val, don’t deny
type-two conditionality,

a likely occurrence: if it
rains heavily, the valley
will flood
. Don’t be sur–

prized if it turns out to be
type-three conditionality,
hypotheticals: if

the whole world flooded,
I would build an ark
. Val,
you’ve known all along

God regretted he made
human beings on the earth
and was deeply troubled

If you leave here now
you will never know
how high the water gets.

As the waters increase
they will bear up the ark
and the waters prevail

Praise for B.K. Fischer and Ceive

“When the Flood comes for us, how do we recognize it as emergency? What from our old lives do we lack, and how do we make meaning out of formlessness and chaos? B.K. Fischer’s strikingly imaginative, wry yet tragic novella-in-verse tells the story of a contemporary Noah’s Ark set on a container ship in the Atlantic Ocean, a refuge from a world that’s been submerged. But as much as the apocalyptic drama drives Ceive’s overall plot, the engine of each of these poems remains always and unfailingly language itself, as Fischer delivers exquisitely layered word-machines, rich in overlapping textures of allusion and noise. This book is a wonder, and now is the moment we need it most.”
—Monica Ferrell, author of You Darling Thing

“We live in an unsustainable and contradictory age: ‘Left means what’s staying, and left means who went.’ Conceived in a period of undeniable ecological crisis compounded by a violent political climate and surging pandemic, Ceive could not be more timely. In a loose translation of the flood myth, Fischer transports her characters from a drowning world, conceivably but without certainty, to dry land via freight containers off the North American coast. Drawing from The Seafarer, Timothy Morton, Joan Miró, ancient myth, Hélène Cixous, and the deepest well of linguistic brilliance I’ve ever encountered, Fischer offers a future of possibility but no promise.”
—Aby Kaupang, author of NOS (disorder, not otherwise specified)

Publication Date: September 21, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-950774-43-2

© BOA Editions, Ltd. 2021