Three Syllables Describing Addiction by Kate Daniels

Release date: November 5, 2018.

ISBN: 978-1-949344-05-9
Softcover, 39 pages.
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Three Syllables Describing Addiction is a devastating unforgettable account of the way the terrors and heartbreak of addiction can ramify through a family, through a community, through a nation. These new poems only confirm what many of us have known for years now, that Kate Daniels is one of our nation’s greatest poets of the destructive vagaries and enduring values of human attachment.” —ALAN SHAPIRO

“This sequence of poems describes a mother’s descent into Hell to save her son. What she finds is that she cannot save him—she can save only herself—and only by letting him go. This is the nightmare of America’s heroin epidemic, told succinctly, beautifully, every line exploring the depths of our national nightmare. Our young are eating themselves alive, and Kate Daniels bears witness.” MICHAEL SIMMS

Kate Daniels was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. The daughter of a British War bride of WWII, she was a first generation college student, educated at the University of Virginia (B.A. and M.A. in English Literature) and Columbia University (M.F.A. School of the Arts). At the beginning of her career, she was a Bunting Fellow at Harvard University, researching the life and poetry of Muriel Rukeyser. Over the years, her teaching career has taken her to the University of Virginia; the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Louisiana State University; Wake Forest University; Bennington College; and Vanderbilt University, where she is the Edwin Mims Professor Emerita of English and former director of creative writing.

Her first book of poetry, The White Wave (Pittsburgh, 1984), won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. Her second volume, The Niobe Poems (Pittsburgh, 1988), received honorable mention for the Paterson Poetry Prize. Her third and fourth volumes, Four Testimonies (1998), and A Walk in Victoria’s Secret (2010), were selected by Dave Smith for the Southern Messenger Series, published by LSU Press. In the Months of My Son’s Recovery, and Three Syllables Describing Addiction, appeared in 2018 and 2019. While still in graduate school, Daniels was one of the founding editors of Poetry East. She has also edited two books, including Of Solitude and Silence: Writings on Robert Bly (Beacon Press, coeditor), and Out of Silence: Selected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser (TriQuarterly). Her most recent book, Slow Fuse of the Possible: A Memoir of Psychoanalysis and Poetry (West Virginia University Press, 2021), is a work of creative nonfiction that explores the connections between writing and reading poetry and the experience of clinical psychoanalysis.

Daniels’ poems are collected in more than seventy five anthologies, including The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women (Columbia University); Twentieth Century American Poetry (Chadwyck-Healey); Longman Anthology of Women’s Literature (Longman); Literature, Class, and Culture (Longman); The Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry (University of Arkansas); Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classical Myths (Oxford University); Hard Lines: Rough Southern Poetry (University of South Carolina Press); Working Classics: Poems on Industrialization (University of Illinois Press); and Bared: Poems of Bras and Breasts (Les Femmes Folles Press). Her awards include the Hanes Award for Poetry, from the Fellowship of Southern Writers; the Best American Poetry 2019/2010/2008; the Crazyhorse Prize for Poetry; the Pushcart Prize; the Louisiana Literature Poetry Prize, and the James Dickey Prize from Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art. In 2003, she served as a judge for the National Book Award in Poetry. In 2013, she was a Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry. In 2015, she was elected to the Fellowship of Southern Writers. In 2019, she was Visiting Scholar at the Center for Biomedical Ethics and the Humanities at the University of Virginia.

Over the years, Daniels has taught poetry in many settings other than universities, including hospitals and outpatient programs; community centers; cancer support groups; elementary schools; psychoanalytic training centers; and – most recently – within the addiction recovery community. She has been a member of the writing faculty of the New Directions program at the Washington-Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis since 2008.

Kate Daniels resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

Additional information

Weight .38 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.1 in

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