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A Face to Meet the Faces

An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry

edited by Stacey Lynn Brown and Oliver de la Paz

Publication Year: 2012

The literary tradition of persona, of writing poems in voices or from perspectives other than the poet's own, is ancient in origin and contemporary in practice. The embodiment of different voices is not only a dramatic and creative moment, but also a moment of true empathy, as the author moves beyond his or her own margins to fully inhabit the character, personality, and mindset of another human being. While there are a great number of poems written in persona, both historically as well as in the modern poetic landscape, there are no anthologies currently in existence that collect and celebrate the diverse writers who work in this mode today-or the divergent voices and characters they create. Stacey Lynn Brown and Oliver de la Paz have selected a superb collection of approximately 200 persona poems. These poems embody characters from popular culture, history, the Bible, literature, mythology, newspaper clippings, legends, fairy tales, and comic books, to name just a few, and their diversity is reflective of the wide range of authors working in this genre. The anthology will also contain brief explanatory notes written by the poets to help historicize and contextualize their characters and personae.

Published by: The University of Akron Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Introduction

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pp. 1-6

Like many things, it began with a need, an absence, a lack. A noticeable omission from the spines on our bookshelves. Somewhere between The New Anthology of This and The Modern Anthology of That, there should be an anthology of persona poetry. Not the definitive anything. Not a...

That Was Then

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pp. 7-8

Aubuchon Creek

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pp. 9-10

Calamity Jane Informs Wild Bill of His Faultswhile Visiting His Grave

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pp. 11-12

Constantinople, Plague Summer

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p. 13-13

Courting Mary Ann Cotton

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p. 14-14

Dr. Balmis

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pp. 15-16

Drifting towards the bottom,Jacques Piccard recalls the sky

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pp. 17-18

Elvie Comes Home to Rosetta

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p. 19-19

The Empress Dreams after a Poisoned Meal

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p. 20-20

Extant Diary of Amanda Elizabeth McKenzy

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pp. 21-24

Galileo to Maria Celeste

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pp. 25-26

The Given Account

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pp. 27-28

A Great Physicist Recalls the Manhattan Project

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pp. 29-30

The Hangman Recalls a Dream to His Son, Abbot

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p. 31-31

Here You Are

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p. 32-32

History

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pp. 33-34

I am the Real Jesse James

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pp. 35-38

Ishi Speaks

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pp. 39-40

from The Lost Letters of Frederick Douglass

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pp. 41-43

Manatee

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pp. 44-45

A Medium Rehearses the Square Order Shuffle

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p. 46-46

Memory

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p. 47-47

Nadya to Stalin, 1925

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pp. 48-49

The Naming of Peru

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p. 50-50

Notes from a Sodbuster’s Wife, Kansas, 1868

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pp. 51-52

Oswald, to His Father

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pp. 53-54

Rachel Carson

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p. 55-55

Reputation

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p. 56-56

The Resurrectionist’s Wife

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p. 57-57

Robert Oppenheimer Near Los Alamos, October 1945

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p. 58-58

Submariner

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pp. 59-60

War Wives at Tea Talk

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p. 61-61

Whaling Wives: Desire Hathaway (2)

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pp. 62-63

The Woods Behind General Walker’s House

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p. 64-64

Releasing the Kraken

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pp. 65-66

. . . and her severed head said to Perseus,

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pp. 67-69

Arachne

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p. 70-70

Aunt Eloe Schools the Scarecrow

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p. 71-71

The Calypso Diaries

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pp. 72-75

The Carriers

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pp. 76-77

The Chimera Faces Extinction, Displacement

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p. 78-78

Coma Berenices

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p. 79-79

Hecuba

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p. 80-80

Icarus / Sinking

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p. 81-81

I Live on Milk Street

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pp. 82-83

Leda’s Flashback

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pp. 84-85

Lotus-Eater’s Wife

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p. 86-86

Medusa and Neptune

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pp. 87-88

My Life as a Woman

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pp. 89-90

Odysseus, on the Eve of Departure,Prepares His Wife

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p. 91-91

Penelope Blows Smoke Rings

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pp. 92-93

Psyche

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p. 94-94

Still Bound

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p. 95-95

“What she could do, Medea did . . .”

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p. 96-96

The Wife of Sisyphus

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pp. 97-98

Fifteen Easy Minutes

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pp. 99-100

After Oz

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p. 101-101

Anna’s Ghost: (Prologue)

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p. 102-102

Beetle Bailey Goes Home

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p. 103-103

Bill Monroe

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p. 104-104

Cammi Granato, Age Five: “I Hate Dorothy Hamill”

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p. 105-105

Crossing the Street, Valentine’s Day

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pp. 106-107

Go Somewhere with Me

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p. 108-108

How She Didn’t Say It

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p. 109-109

Hulk Smash!

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p. 110-110

I am the Immaculate Conception

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pp. 111-112

In the Unlikely Event of a Water Landing

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pp. 113-114

Jack Benny Plays the Carousel Club

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pp. 115-117

Katie Smith Says, “A Woman’s Body is a Battleground. I Should Know.”

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pp. 118-119

Leaving Saturn

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pp. 120-122

Like This

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pp. 123-124

Man on Extremely Small Island

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pp. 125-126

(Moan): Robert McFerrin, Sr.

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pp. 127-128

The Monster’s Bride Questions the Motives of Her Creator

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pp. 129-130

My Kitchen

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pp. 131-132

My Life as Orson Welles

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pp. 133-134

Notes in the Margins of King Kong (1933) III: We’ll be millionaires!

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p. 135-135

Ornette Coleman’s Out-of-Office Reply

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pp. 136-139

Sarah Bernhardt Plays Hamlet

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pp. 140-141

Setsuko Hara

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pp. 142-144

Today on Maury

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pp. 145-146

Track 4: Reflections

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p. 147-147

Violin (Larry Fine)

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pp. 148-149

the vodka to Miss USA Tara Conner

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pp. 150-152

It Kept on Burning

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pp. 153-154

Ajal

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p. 155-155

All the Trees of the Field Shall Clap Their Hands

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p. 156-156

Ballad of Greg Withrow

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pp. 157-160

Bring the Rain

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pp. 161-162

Bronze Age

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pp. 163-164

Chin’s Monologue in the Bucket

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p. 165-165

Chorus of X, the Rescuers’ Mark

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pp. 166-167

Dear Laramie, Dear Liar, Dear Once Upon a Time

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p. 168-168

Elizabeth at Seabrook

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pp. 169-170

Emmett Till’s Glass-Top Casket

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p. 171-171

fodderhouse

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p. 172-172

Forget

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pp. 173-175

Forneus

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pp. 176-177

George Wallace at the Crossroads

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p. 178-178

Gila

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pp. 179-180

Installation / Occupation

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pp. 181-182

Listen

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p. 183-183

Liu Minghe Speaks

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pp. 184-185

Memory

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p. 186-186

My Brother Jay, A Trilogy

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pp. 187-190

A Note Found in the Tomb of Tutankhamen

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pp. 191-192

Rosemary Talking Belfast, 1975

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pp. 193-194

Skinhead

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pp. 195-197

Spring Reply to Internment Camp, Location Unknown

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pp. 198-199

The Venerable Fisherman Speaks Again of His Days

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pp. 200-202

As It Was Written

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pp. 203-204

The Apostle’s Wife

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p. 205-205

Black Jesus Speaks to the Cosmetic Counter Salesgirl at the Mall of Asia

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p. 206-206

Daniel Addresses the Soothsayer Society

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pp. 207-208

From the Book of Ten Instructions

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p. 209-209

His Cassandra

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p. 210-210

It Didn’t Happen That Way

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pp. 211-212

Jezebel Remembering

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p. 213-213

Lord’s Own Anointed

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pp. 214-215

Na’amah

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p. 216-216

Punishment

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pp. 217-218

Put Me Back, Jesus (from Lazarus)

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p. 219-219

Rebecca to Isaac

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pp. 220-221

Salome Gives Seven Explanations for a Kiss

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pp. 222-223

Sarah’s Story

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pp. 224-225

The Sin-Eater

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p. 226-226

Sister Lost

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pp. 227-230

After Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales, Creatures, and Other Imaginings

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pp. 231-232

Dido to the Little Match Girl

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p. 233-233

Gretel in the Tunnel

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p. 234-234

Mermaid

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pp. 235-237

Pinocchio’s Elegy for the Unreal

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pp. 238-239

The Tale of the Dead Princess

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pp. 240-241

Thaw

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pp. 242-243

To the Stockyard Bulls

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p. 244-244

The Watchtower

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pp. 245-246

The Werewolf of Green Knolls

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pp. 247-250

The Werewolves

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p. 251-251

When Red Becomes the Wolf

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p. 252-252

From the Page to the Pen: Authors, Their Characters, and Everything in Between

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pp. 253-254

Case History: Frankenstein’s Lesions

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pp. 255-258

Confessions of an Invisible Man

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p. 259-259

Copyright

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p. 260-260

Elizabeth Barrett Browning Speaks of Spirits

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p. 261-261

A Foot, A Poem

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p. 262-262

Hamlet Beside the Stream

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p. 263-263

House of Galicia

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pp. 264-268

If Robinson Came from the Heartland

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pp. 269-270

In the fever-world, my dearest

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p. 271-271

The Kama Sutra’s Banished Illustrator

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p. 272-272

Letter from Zelda

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p. 273-273

Li Po Of Course Drinking

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p. 274-274

Love Letter to Hans Christian Andersen

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p. 275-275

Love Song of Fergus

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pp. 276-277

Marcel at the Station House

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pp. 278-280

Maudie Defends Her Spinsterhood

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p. 281-281

Excerpt from “Musica Humana”

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pp. 282-284

Nabokov, Naming the Animals

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pp. 285-286

Ophelia Drowning

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p. 287-287

Paul D’s Haiku for Sethe

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p. 288-288

Poisonous Persona

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p. 289-289

Robert Frost, The Derry Farm, New Hampshire, 1906

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pp. 290-291

Sebastian’s Arrows:Lorca’s Last Letter to Dalí, August 20, 1936

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p. 292-292

Speaking as the Male Poet

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p. 293-293

Walt Whitman Sings Happy Birthday to Himself

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p. 294-294

The Wind Over Pasternak’s Square

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pp. 295-296

The Muse Talks Back: Artists and Their Subjects

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pp. 297-298

Agitation

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p. 299-299

Baedeker for a Life Cut with Danger

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pp. 300-301

Beethoven’s Maid Writes a Letter to Her Mother

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p. 302-302

Coy Mistress

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p. 303-303

Diego is Painted by D. H. Lawrence in the Desert

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pp. 304-306

Fernande Olivier: Woman Sleeping, 1904

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pp. 307-309

Frida Kahlo Speaks:

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p. 310-310

Josie Bliss, October 1971

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pp. 311-314

Marc Chagall: Blue Violinist, 1946

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pp. 315-316

On Sketching Pippa Passingthe Loose Women (1855)

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p. 317-317

Picasso’s Heart

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pp. 318-321

Seven Studies for a Self-Portrait

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pp. 322-325

Steady, My Gaze

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p. 326-326

Not the Poet, Not Me: The Other Faces That You Meet

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pp. 327-328

All My Wives

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pp. 329-330

Anthropologist Dreams

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pp. 331-332

Aunt Rose Baptizes the Greens

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p. 333-333

Autumn Somewhere

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pp. 334-335

billy they don’t like you to be so free

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pp. 336-337

Clairvoyant

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p. 338-338

—Clean—

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p. 339-339

Corpus

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p. 340-340

Doomsayer

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p. 341-341

Dwarf with Bottle

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p. 342-342

Etude

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p. 343-343

The Facial Reconstructionist has Cocktails with the Girls

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p. 344-344

The Gospel According to Lucas

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p. 345-345

Graciela and the Song of One Hundred Names

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pp. 346-347

Granola Jones Cooks for the Potluck

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pp. 348-349

Her Head Bowed

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p. 350-350

Holes

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p. 351-351

Homewrecker

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pp. 352-353

Ice Jesus

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pp. 354-355

The Jerk

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pp. 356-357

Letter after Dismemberment

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pp. 358-359

Lexicons

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p. 360-360

The Magician’s Assistant

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pp. 361-362

Melvin’s Story

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p. 363-363

My Name is Quinn Margaret

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pp. 364-365

Necessary Knives

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p. 366-366

Our Chef is Delicious

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pp. 367-368

Parable: A Training Exercise

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p. 369-369

Something Might Be Gaining on You

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p. 370-370

The Tilted Knot

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p. 371-371

Waiting

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pp. 372-373

What Happened at Work

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pp. 374-376

Contextual Notes

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pp. 377-379

Contributors

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pp. 400-421

Credits

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pp. 422-430

Index

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pp. 431-440


E-ISBN-13: 9781937378288
E-ISBN-10: 1937378284
Print-ISBN-13: 9781937378127
Print-ISBN-10: 1937378128

Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Akron Series in Contemporary Poetics

Research Areas

Recommend

Subject Headings

  • American poetry -- 21st century.
  • Persona (Literature) -- Poetry.
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