Denise Duhamel's Blowout chronicles the journey from heartbreak to new love but is so much more. It is a meditation on love and the sacrifices we make to create it in tenements, in condos, on boardwalks, and in our own hearts. Wearing her rare shade of Bali Brown lipstick, Duhamel strides through lovelorn streets like a Valkyrie, a straight-talking goddess, who takes on the teeming world and makes it her own.
Barbara Hamby
Finalist, 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award

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Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award.

In Blowout, Denise Duhamel asks the same question that Frankie Lyman & the Teenagers asked back in 1954—”Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” Duhamel’s poems readily admit that she is a love-struck fool, but also embrace the “crazy wisdom” of the Fool of the Tarot deck and the fool as entertainer or jester. From a kindergarten crush to a failed marriage and beyond, Duhamel explores the nature of romantic love and her own limitations. She also examines love through music, film, and history—Michelle and Barak Obama’s inauguration and Cleopatra’s ancient sex toy. Duhamel chronicles the perilous cruelties of love gone awry, but also reminds us of the compassion and transcendence in the aftermath. In “Having a Diet Coke with You,” she asserts that “love poems are the most difficult poems to write / because each poem contains its opposite its loss / and that no matter how fierce the love of a couple / one of them will leave the other / if not through betrayal / then through death.” Yet, in Blowout, Duhamel fiercely and foolishly embraces the poetry of love.

104 Pages, 6 x 8.5 in.

February, 2013

isbn : 9780822962366

about the author

Denise Duhamel

Denise Duhamel is a distinguished university professor in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami. Her previous books include Scald, Blowout, Ka-Ching!, Two and Two, Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems, The Star-Spangled Banner, and Kinky. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Denise Duhamel