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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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    Love Me Back

    Merritt Tierce 9780385538077

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Ghost Girl (Penguin Poets)

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Ghost Girl (Penguin Poets) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Sly and sophisticated, direct, playful, and profound, Amy Gerstler’s new collection highlights her distinctive poetic style. In thirty-seven poems, using a variety of dramatic voices and visual techniques, she finds meaning in unexpected places, from a tour of a doll hospital to an ad for a CD of Beethoven symphonies to an earthy exploration of toast. Gerstler’s abiding interests—in love and mourning, in science and pseudoscience, in the idea of an afterlife, in seances and magic—are all represented here. Entertaining and erudite, complex yet accessible, these poems will enhance Gerstler’s reputation as an important contemporary poet.

Review:

"Amid the grab bag of discursive forms that make up Gerstler's eighth collection, single anecdotes animate several poems, as when a speaker misreads an offer for 'Beethoven's Complete Symphonies' as 'Beethoven's Complete Sympathies' and indulges in the not-so-surprising riff: 'This immortal/ master... has not forgotten those left behind/ to endure gridlock and mind-ache,/ wearily crosshatching the earth's surface/ with our miseries....' Gerstler has a bit of a Billy Collins problem, writing poems that tussle with, but never quite extend, intentionally light premises that conceal serious subjects: domestic life, evolution and chronic stagnation, magic and the supernatural. In 'Touring the Doll Hospital,' for instance, the speaker asks, 'Why so many senseless injuries?' and a few lines later, sighs, 'Small soldiers with no Geneva Convention to protect them....' Such jokes tend to sink pieces in which some version of the spirit world is invoked: 'Witch Songs' refers to an 'invitation/ written in semen and ash — / can't we just reply in ink?' while, 'The Oracle at Delphi, Reincarnated as a Contemporary Adolescent Girl,' begins, 'I'm high most of the time on hallucinogenic fumes.' Often, one doubts the poet's own investment in particular poems. What to make of a long catalogue, 'Fuck You Poem #45,' which reads like an undergraduate exercise: 'Fuck you in slang and conventional English./ Fuck you in lost and neglected lingoes./ Fuck you hungry and sated; faded, pock marked and defaced./ Fuck you with orange rind, fennel and anchovy paste.' While the collection's formal heterogeneity is refreshing, too many of the pieces here feel tossed off. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Amy Gerstler is a writer of fiction, poetry, and journalism whose work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including the Paris Review and Best American Poetry. Her 1990 book Bitter Angel won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Previous titles from Penguin are Crown of Weeds, 1997, and Nerve Storm, 1993.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780142000649
Author:
Gerstler, Amy
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Poets, Penguin
Series Volume:
3109
Publication Date:
20040431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
80
Dimensions:
9.00x6.06x.24 in. .26 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Ghost Girl (Penguin Poets) New Trade Paper
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Product details 80 pages Penguin Books - English 9780142000649 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Amid the grab bag of discursive forms that make up Gerstler's eighth collection, single anecdotes animate several poems, as when a speaker misreads an offer for 'Beethoven's Complete Symphonies' as 'Beethoven's Complete Sympathies' and indulges in the not-so-surprising riff: 'This immortal/ master... has not forgotten those left behind/ to endure gridlock and mind-ache,/ wearily crosshatching the earth's surface/ with our miseries....' Gerstler has a bit of a Billy Collins problem, writing poems that tussle with, but never quite extend, intentionally light premises that conceal serious subjects: domestic life, evolution and chronic stagnation, magic and the supernatural. In 'Touring the Doll Hospital,' for instance, the speaker asks, 'Why so many senseless injuries?' and a few lines later, sighs, 'Small soldiers with no Geneva Convention to protect them....' Such jokes tend to sink pieces in which some version of the spirit world is invoked: 'Witch Songs' refers to an 'invitation/ written in semen and ash — / can't we just reply in ink?' while, 'The Oracle at Delphi, Reincarnated as a Contemporary Adolescent Girl,' begins, 'I'm high most of the time on hallucinogenic fumes.' Often, one doubts the poet's own investment in particular poems. What to make of a long catalogue, 'Fuck You Poem #45,' which reads like an undergraduate exercise: 'Fuck you in slang and conventional English./ Fuck you in lost and neglected lingoes./ Fuck you hungry and sated; faded, pock marked and defaced./ Fuck you with orange rind, fennel and anchovy paste.' While the collection's formal heterogeneity is refreshing, too many of the pieces here feel tossed off. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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