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What happens when love is replaced by romance? In Nothing Fatal, Sarah Perrier presents us with a variety of answers to this question. Wise, sly, sexy, and sad, Perrier's poems not only court the reader, but flirt with each other, resulting in a collection that rejoices in, and even reconfigures, the notion of modern love.
Transformation of Edinburgh's Underworld in the Early Nineteeth Century
The year 1828, when William Burke, William Hare, and their wives murdered nearly a score of Edinburgh's poor and sold their bodies, offers us many more examples of entrepreneurial criminals in Edinburgh's Old Town. Young thieves ransacked a warehouse for tea, women pretending to be prostitutes lifted gentlemen's watches, and fine linens disappeared from washerwomen's houses. What Symonds reveals here is a shadow economy where the most numerous of all criminals and thieves practice their trade not out of poverty and misery, but because it is their trade. Symonds argues that the trade of thievery, far from being either static or a symptom of misery and sign of revolt, was a very lively economic sector, the freest market of all, and one that shifted and shadowed the larger legitimate economy. The community of laborers and petty fiddles, especially of visitors like drovers, might be tolerated, if done cleverly, but murder and theft, especially from local business, was more unsettling. But the entrepreneurial spirit was never more alive, or perhaps more valued, because it could easily substitute for capital in the shadow economy.
Paradigm Lost and Paradigm Gained
There is a general consensus among the North American archaeologists specializing in the Middle Woodland period (ca 100B.C. to ca A.D. 400) that the Ohio Hopewell was a rather straight forward complex of small-scaled peer polity communities based on simple gardening and extensive foraging practices and occupying dispersed habitation locales loosely clustered around major earthworks. This book challenges this general consensus by presenting a radically alternative view. It argues that the Ohio Hopewell episode can be better and more coherently characterized by treating it as a complex social system based on dual and mutually autonomous social networks of clan alliances and world renewal cults, and that this dual clan-cult social system was, in fact, the culmination of such social systems that were widely dispersed across the Eastern Woodlands. The cults were devoted to treating their deceased members and/or dependants as sacrificial offerings to enhance the sacred powers of nature and the clans were devoted to transforming their deceased into ancestors and the stresses these opposing mortuary practices generated underwrote the dynamics of the Ohio Hopewell and brought about the monumental earthworks as sacred locales of world renewal cults.
Orphan, Indiana is a collection of spontaneous outbursts framed by reticence and the guiding mania of the subconscious. Profane and poignant, accidental-seeming but soaring with satirical intent, David Dodd Lee's poems capture a verisimilitude that's phenomenological, and yet of the moment.
Attempting to repair the fissures of everyday life, Brian Brodeur negotiates the psychological distances between desire and disgust, humor and catastrophe, banality and dream. The poems of Other Latitudes begin in the realm of personal experience, and expand into larger territories of cultural narcissism and political blindness. These poems meditate on the tenuous relationship between artist and subject, the curiosities of self-inflicted wounds, and the presence of hope in a landscape that is intrinsically scarred. Brodeur’s debut illustrates the conflict between inner lives and their outward appearances, with an eye turned to the unforgiving natural world.
Mothering in New English Poetry by Women
This study consists of two parts. The first part offers an overview of feminism’s theory of differences. The second part deals with the textual analysis of poems about ‘mothering’ by women from India, the Caribbean and Africa. Literary criticism has dealt with the representation of ‘mothering’ in prose texts. The exploration of lyrical texts has not yet come. Since the late 1970s, the acknowledgement of and the commitment to difference has been foundational for feminist theory and activism. This investigation promotes a differentiated, ‘locational’ feminism (Friedman). The comprehensive theoretical discussion of feminism’s different concepts of ‘gender’, ‘race’, ‘ethnicity’ and ‘mothering’ builds the foundation for the main part: the presentation and analysis of the poems. The issue of ‘mothering’ foregrounds the communicative aspect of women’s experience and wants to bridge the gap between theory and practice. This study, however, does not intend to specify ‘mothering’ as a universal and unique feminine characteristic. It underlines a metaphorical use and discusses the concepts of ‘nurturing’, ‘maternal practice’ and ‘social parenthood’. Regarding the extensive material, this study understands itself as an explorative not concluding investigation placed at the intersections of gender studies, postcolonial and classical literary studies. Most of all, it aims at initiating a dialogue and interchange between scholars and students in the Western and the ‘Third World’.
Essays on Poetry in a Difficult Time
What are we really wishing for when we want poetry to have the prominence it had in the past? Why do American poets overwhelmingly identify with the political left? How do poems communicate? Is there an essential link between formal experimentation and political radicalism? What happens when poetic outsiders become academic insiders? Just what makes a poem a poem? If a poet gives up on her art, what reasons could she find for coming back to poetry? These are the large questions animating the essays of The Poet Resigns: Essays on Poetry in a Difficult Time, a book that sets out to survey not only the state of contemporary poetry, but also the poet's relationship to politics, society, and literary criticism. In addition to pursuing these topics, The Poet Resigns peers into the role of the critic and the manifesto, the nature of wit, the poetics of play, and the persistence of modernism, while providing detailed readings of poets as diverse as Harryette Mullen and Yvor Winters, George Oppen and Robert Pinsky, Pablo Neruda and C.S. Giscombe. Behind it all is a sense of poetry not just as an academic area of study, but also as a lived experience and a way of understanding. Few books of poetry criticism show such range - yet the core questions remain clear: what is this thing we love and call 'poetry,' and what is its consequence in the world?
Ohio and National Politics, 1964-2004
To understand Ohio politics is to understand American politics, a truth proven every two years in national elections. No journalist has written more astutely or with greater zest about politics in the Buckeye State than Abe Zaidan. For more than forty years, he covered what could be called an age of giants, a tumultuous era dominated by larger-than-life politicians like the irrepressible Governor James Rhodes and by such wrenching events as the shootings at Kent State University. Drawn from over three thousand news stories, columns, and feature articles written between 1964 and 2004, Portraits of Power presents ninety essays that, in Zaidan's witty and vivid style, shed light on this fascinating period of Ohio politics. Readers who lived through those years will be transported back to critical junctures in their lives, while those who did not will have a better understanding of the forces that helped to shape their world. Portraits of Power is not only the "first draft of history", in Abe Zaidan's shrewd and polished prose, it is also political literature that has outlasted the cause of its occasion.
Private Hunger, Melody Lacina's first collection of poetry, begins as a book of snapshots from a family album, becomes a carousel of color slides from travels in Europe, and concludes as a gallery of poems celebrating the vitality of the body and its enormous appetite for life. Lacina is also a poet who can say, in the credo that opens the book, "I believe in the underside ... the rhythm and off-rhyme of the ordinary." If this is a book about passion and "private hunger" ("Food and sex. / What else matters? Words."), it is also familiar with unsatisfied longings, losses, grief, and death, understanding how our desires sustain and torment us from childhood to the end. Lacina's succinct poems lift anecdote to revelation, in spare lines, taut rhythms, and a voice that can register anything from anxiety to ecstasy. It may not be rare, in these times, to find a woman writing evocatively about sensual pleasures, but it is surely unusual to discover a poet who also has this much sense of balance and control, and such lively command of the common tongue.
Art is about something the way a cat is about the house," says Allen Grossman. This is abundantly true of Emily Rosko's poems in Prop Rockery, a condition she defines with a quote from King Lear: "a looped and windowed raggedness." And while this condition is "pretend," and these poems are indeed virtuoso performances, the despair, loneliness, lies, and miscommunication they examine are as real as anything in art. Parataxis and fragments meet rhyme and chewy-on-the-tongue Anglo Saxon diction at the axis of postmodern irony. Prop Rockery explodes in your mouth-no sugar, plenty of bite. -Natasha Sajé, author of Bend and Red Under the Skin