Poetry in America

I admire Julia Kasdorf's poems for their alert eye, attentive mind, vigilant heart, all fused into a single, sometimes painfully aware, vision of the world. Bristling with narrative surfaces, angular emotional interiors, humorous sympathies, her poems move in careful zigzags, like a bat. Her politically astute voice knows, understands, and without sentimentality embraces a universe of ordinary lives and unsung places—celebrating women's work, or her daughter's rapt in-taking of all that is new to her, or the nature of 'Poetry in America,' or the existential texture of Mennonite life, or simply sun flashing on a spider's thread, a blade of grass, / my own tanned skin. Plainspoken, both intimate and discreet, these poems take hold.
Eamon Grennan

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Poetry in America offers extravagantly formed lyric and narrative poems that function like works of social realism for our times: hard times, wartime, divorce, times of downturn and dissipated resources. Where, in such times, can poetry emerge, the book asks—and answers—again and again. Largely set in rural places and small towns, these poems are politically committed but deeply sensuous, emotionally complex and compassionate. They take up the everyday in meaningful ways, and deliver it with blunt force, yet not without hope or bright humor.

88 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

August, 2011

isbn : 9780822961567

about the author

Julia Spicher Kasdorf

Julia Spicher Kasdorf is the author of Sleeping Preacher, Eve’s Striptease, Poetry in America, and Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields, a documentary project created in collaboration with photographer Steven Rubin. She has also published a collection of essays, The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life, and a biographical study, Fixing Tradition: Joseph W. Yoder, Amish American.

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Julia Spicher Kasdorf