Then Suddenly–

Lynn Emanuel's poems have a rare power: they connect to the world through estrangement. Here is a restless, seeking intelligence, finding itself in beautiful language that makes the reader feel at home in sounds and cadences and figures, even while the homelessness of each of the poet's perceptions adds to the poem's force. This is a moving, challenging book.
Eavan Boland

Finalist for ForeWord Magazine’s 1999 Poetry Book of the Year

A reader and a writer don their respective roles and embark on the journey of a book. This is their story–ultimately a love story–darkly funny, mournful, testy. It is about a reader who at times presides over the page like a god, and at others follows the leash of the author's voice through the dark streets of the book like a dog, and it is about a writer of determined slipperiness. As we read, we think that each of us is The Reader, the one who knows the Real Story. But the more we think we understand, the more the story moves away from us—all is not what it seems.

This eagerly awaited third volume by the poet whose work The New York Times described as “at once charmed and frightening” is a book of high-spirited subversiveness, a work of argument, seduction, and a relentless devotion to language. Then, Suddenly— bristles with the sound of the author's voice–insistent, vital, hilarious, and iconoclastic–tearing away at the confinement of the page and at the distance between the page and the reader. Emanuel's images are dazzling. She creates a performance that is fearsome and funny in its portrayal of the argument between the work of the text and the world of the body. The Gettsyburg Review has called her a writer of “exquisite craftsmanship” who can “strike from language . . . images chiseled clean as bas-relief.” Then, Suddenly— is a book of spectacle and verve, part elegy, part vaudeville.

96 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

September, 1999

isbn : 9780822957096

about the author

Lynn Emanuel

Lynn Emanuel is the author of four previous books of poetry: Hotel Fiesta, The Dig, Then, Suddenly–, and, most recently, Noose and Hook. Her work has been featured in The Pushcart Prize Anthology and The Best American Poetry numerous times and is included in The Oxford Book of American Poetry. She is the recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Poetry Series Award, the Eric Matthieu King Award from the Academy of American Poets, and, most recently, a fellowship from the Ranieri Foundation.

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Lynn Emanuel