The Night Sky : In her six collections of poetry, Ann Lauterbach has won acclaim for poems that explore the ways in which language simultaneously omits and defines our experience of reality. Lauterbach's dazzling range of formal strategies, her search for methods that engage contemporary issues of identity, event, and description extend to her prose writings, collected for the first time in The Night Sky: Writings on the Poetics of Experience. At the center of this new book are a series of seven essays, originally written in the mid-1990s, which engage the interstices between poetics, politics, and memoir. Lauterbach advocates an active engagement with language, at once imaginative, philosophical, and practical; these writings demonstrate a radical relationship between how and what we know. By turns meditative and polemical, lyrical and descriptive, they argue for the centrality of art in a democratic society.