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Judge’s Note

From: Cream City Review
Volume 36, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2012
p. 205 | 10.1353/ccr.2012.0085

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These poems evoke complicated familial and cultural lineages that are inescapably filled with violence and decay. The speaker at times diminishes his own memories about the past: “I am the child whose thoughts I had a certain age” while, in another poem, we learn more about what the speaker has suppressed: “I never think much about that. . . . He did push me down the stairs. . .”

The poems enact a sense of restlessness, of high-speed chases, traversing both physical and psychological landscapes, and taking the reader into a world where “Hope Street” can exist alongside prisons, cellars, and empty windows. People and their environments impose themselves on each other and the poems never allow for easy conclusions as to which force is more destructive. Judson’s muscular language pays attention to the minutiae we take for granted, from upturned buckets and dabs of jelly, to “an older man pumping gas into a tiny blue car.” While commanding its own careful rhythms, the poems invite readers to forget simplistic distinctions between prose and verse, opting instead for a form that is malleable, seemingly chaotic and improvisatory yet methodical and deliberate. Here, the world is often rendered as an uneasy place where an inmate’s ingenuity reveals the lack of humanity afforded to him, where cattle die of blood lost to mosquitoes, and where “all of us without sin” are reminded that “we are all being driven into time.”

Esther Lee  

Esther Lee received her MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University and served as Editor-in-Chief for Indiana Review. She has been awarded the Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize and 2009 Utah Writer’s Contest Award for Poetry, as well as nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and AWP Intro Journals Project. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing/Literature at the University of Utah and is working on her second book.


Note: Don Judson’s poems will appear in landscape format to preserve their formatting.

Copyright © 2012 University of Wisconsin Board of Regents
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Esther Lee. "Judge’s Note." Cream City Review 1.1 (2012): 205-205. Project MUSE. Web. 6 May. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Lee, E.(2012). Judge’s Note. Cream City Review 1(1), 205. Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Retrieved May 6, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Esther Lee. "Judge’s Note." Cream City Review 1, no. 1 (2012): 205-205. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed May 6, 2013).
T1 - Judge’s Note
A1 - Esther Lee
JF - Cream City Review
VL - 1
IS - 1
SP - 205
EP - 205
PY - 2012
PB - Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
SN - 2166-014x
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/cream_city_review/v036/36.1.lee.html
N1 - Volume 36, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2012
ER -


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