Connie Voisine’s newest chapbook follows the observations and consolations of a speaker undergoing loss and motherhood in a contemporary, very problematic America. Honesty and humor unite to create an impressive resistance to the threatening forces of crime, alcoholism, poverty, and misogyny. Acknowledging without accepting a world that expects women to exist quietly and complacently, she meets each of its challenges with an approach that is realist without being pessimistic. By exercising her acerbic language and even sharper wit, she resolutely defends her power from a society hell-bent on taking it away.
“It takes a special gift to find within the mundane that which is almost holy. As with most of Voisine’s work, the ordinary (belly fat, horses, medics, and cops) becomes extraordinary. Not pointillist impressions, these poems are hard realities conveyed with oils and cut with a palette knife. This is Voisine’s gift: an imagination that by stringency yields revelation.”
—C. DALE YOUNG, author of The Halo
“‘Votives filled with dust and water’? Okay. But if whatever god really ‘created woman’ …. with a ‘3-D printer’—as Connie Voisine imagines— then these edgy luminous poems are wryly and mysteriously made too. in this Here, in this ‘manual for losing beautifully,’ smart-ass transforms to poignant, to downright moving. Cut to the owl’s haunted stare in the remarkable ‘Messenger Star’ or how, in ‘No, Dog,’ the horse (and eventually motherhood) can turn ‘dreamscape/until I am riding the horse and then it’s/ muscle and control and a being who really/doesn’t want to be me.’ Wonder and gratitude, the self refigured as weird as avatar, hopeless as myth. These poems are spiked and dangerous, each so multiple: be careful. ‘Take my heart,’ the poet reminds us, ‘where a small part/stands in for the whole.’ ” —MARIANNE BORUCH, author of THE BOOK OF HOURS
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