Byrne, John Luke
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<i>Tender Perennial</i> is a collection of poems that documents an arc of identity from its initial construction, through its deconstruction, and back into a sort of reconstruction. Although the poems often speak from various different personas, the exploration of selfhood remains consistent across the collection, allowing a unified authorial voice to shine through. At once in conversation with earlier works of myth and folklore while also exploring contemporary styles and voices, this collection seeks to shed light on the spaces in between. These are the spaces language creates in order for a fractured identity to find tools to rebuild. While the speakers of the poems doubt their own construction of identity and try to grapple with how to relate with the physical space around them, the collection as a whole posits that the self is equal parts inside and out, inherited and created.