The Zoo

Elegance and predation, beauty and terror, light and shadow. This fine volume of poems proceeds by integrating contradictory and opposing tendencies to create a high-tension field of psychic proportions. These poems mine our true homeland, the in-between place.
Li-Young Lee

Winner, 2000 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry
Winner, 2002 Kate Tufts Discovery Award

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Joanie Mackowski’s debut collection of poetry is meditative, vivid, sometimes weird. Turning an idiosyncratic eye to the inhabitants of zoos and fish tanks, cafes and cemeteries, she illuminates details that make the familiar seem strange. An egret stands “still as a glass of milk”; iceberg lettuce is a “vegetable leviathan” that “extends beneath the dinner table / an unseen, monstrous green”; a bald eagle may “love a jet?— / or worship them all, or mock them, rigid / freaks that never linger.”

80 Pages, 6 x 8.2 in.

December, 2001

isbn : 9780822957683

about the author

Joanie Mackowski

Joanie Mackowski is assistant professor of English at Cornell University and author of the poetry collection The Zoo. Her awards include the Emily Dickinson Prize from the Poetry Society of America, the Associated Writing Programs Award in Poetry, the Kate Tufts Discovery Prize, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Grant, and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship. Mackowski’s poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2007 and 2009, the Yale Review, Poetry, the American Scholar, New England Review, Raritan, Southwest Review, the Kenyon Review, and other journals.

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Joanie Mackowski