The poems in Initial Conditions explore the boundaries between fate and destiny, strategy and circumstance, desire and entropy, by turns bold, humble, amused, appalled, distracted, lethargic, and determined. The title refers to the concept that origins influence trajectory without fully determining outcomes. This debut full-length collection allows space for the poet's words to "progress through regression...evolve through devolution."
"Benesh's poetry creates a whole new species--her inner scientist dances with her inner romantic and both personas brim with lyric humanity. These poems start little revolutions with playful music and worldly insight. They are like brilliant dinner companions you hope to be seated beside--funny, original, and deeply true." -- Valentina Gnup, author of Sparrow Octaves, A Certain Piece of Sky, and Ruined Music
"It's a delight to trace the voice of the speaker, which hopscotches from musing to marveling, nostalgic to nervy, always in service of clarity and the explication of the human heart. The poems in Initial Conditions find in our everyday experiences--first dates and yoga poses and city rats and ninth grade field trips and show tunes-our important truths. Julie Benesh redeems the world through clarity of vision and attention to sonic nuances. These are wonderful poems." --Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs
"Julie Benesh is the ultimate trickster. Her poetic sleight of hand is to feign nostalgia, then yank the magic carpet away. The results? A playful dance of death. A tour of the underworld. A life turned into mythology. Goth poems that sway like Siouxsie and the Banshees. Trust me, it's a wonderful ride." --Richard Peabody, editor, Gargoyle Magazine