Afforded Permanence by Liam Day

Named a 2015 Must-Read Poetry Title by the Massachusetts Center for the Book!

December 2014
ISBN 978-1-941143-01-8
102 pages / poetry

Synopsis ‣ TrailerPraiseAbout the AuthorExcerpt


Knowledge reverberates. What we’ve known, what we’ve been taught, what we thought we once knew. The weight of knowledge can be a burden, yet in Liam Day’s debut collection, how we learn informs how we function. The paths Day’s narrator travels, routes learned by rote, give way to impressions of his life, of Boston and its surrounding cities, and the ways their history entwines with his own. Through a series of intricate, interwoven images—genealogy, tesseracts, Vitruvian men—Day’s narrator lends us his memory, recollections that travel from Boston to London to Ireland and back. His hard-won insights evoke what we gain from impermanence, bring to mind wounds when we’re looking at scars.



“Liam Day has set before us a nostalgic escape plan, a delirium of cartography and prismatic urban planning loosed from the Bay State, and waiting here for you like a dazed anatomy dummy. Afforded Permanence is far more pricey and valuable than the title suggests, and you will not regret tuning into this soundtrack of lyric transit and visitation.”

— Simeon Berry, author of Ampersand Revisited

“In poems that unfold in refractive, meditative fashion, Liam Day incisively illustrates how individual stories reflect and are inextricable from those of a community. With agility and grace (attributes which are equally estimable in negotiating the MBTA), lessons are recounted then recanted, mutterings yield to utterings and routines indelibly transformed. Here is an honorable navigation to ‘reconcile / position and direction’ in a world populated with ‘tiny cracks in the paint’ and ‘a multitude of silhouettes.’ Fueled by precision and wit, tinged with remorse, I’d gladly board any of these poems and ride them as often and as far as I can.”

— Rodney Wittwer, author of Gone & Gone

“Liam Day’s very fine first collection, Afforded Permanence, traces select bus routes (roots) in and around Boston in poems that tell stories, evoke memories, and capture histories of the heart and mind. His speaker throughout is streetwise and tuned to the rhythms of the city, its various environs, and beyond: this is someone you want to know, both for his sense of direction and for his ways with words. These are beautifully crafted poems—formally accomplished and lyrical, with details that chart the pleasures and complexities of urban life. This is the best, most necessary kind of map.”

— Mary Pinard, author of Portal

“The poems in this book are busy with people, crowded with real lives and the logistical problems we’ve allowed to enter into them—action and traction, locations and locutions, history and the present. And that’s especially refreshing because these poems demonstrate solutions and possibilities, are grounded through these essential connections, these lived-in lives. What I mean is that these are poems which can be of use to us, in our actual lives. They take for granted that we can all manifest some kind of potent and powerful spiritual energy and are concerned with the immediate now in all its multivalent plentitude.”

— Nate Pritts, author of Right Now More Than Ever and Big Bright Sun


Liam Day has been a youth worker, teacher, assistant principal, public health professional, campaign manager, political pundit, communications director, and professional basketball player. His poems have appeared in Slow Trains, apt, and Wilderness House Literary Review. His op-eds and essays have appeared in AnnalemmaStymie, The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and The Good Men Project, where he is the Sports Editor.


“83 – Archaeopteryx” and “51 – Tesseract”
Cover photo credit: AV Dezign | via Compfight cc