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Other titles in the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry series:
Last Seen (Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry)by Jacqueline Jones Lamon
Synopses & Reviews
In this debut collection, Voodoo Inverso, Mark Wagenaar composes a startling mystical imagism and sets it to music, using self-portraits to explore differing physical and spiritual landscapes. He uses a variety of personae—a victim of sex trafficking in Amsterdam, a fichera dancer, a portrait haunted by Dante, a carillonneur of starlight, an elephant in pink slippers remembering its beloved—to silhouette the intricacies and frailties of the body and the world. In a series of “gospels” and “histories”—such as the poems “History of Ecstasy” and “Moth Hour Gospel”—he shines a light on the possibilities of transcendence and transfiguration, weaving together memory and loss with desire and hope.
Inspired by actual case histories of long-term missing African American children, this provocative and heartrending collection of poems evokes the experience of what it means to be among the missing in contemporary America.
Nick Lantz explores the transformative power of tragic and miraculous experiences, through these poems that illuminate near misses of tragedy and transcendence. His gaze is both roving and microscopic—the Challenger explosion, Bigfoot, a love letter written from inside a missile silo, a mother naming and re-naming a family’s short-lived pets, and a plea for post-9/11 redemption. Lantz never lets his subjects or his readers off the hook, plunging head first into worlds that are both eccentric and familiar, alarming and hopeful.
Finalist, Foreword Magazine’s Poetry Book of the Year
Inspired by actual case histories of long-term missing African American children, this provocative and heartrending collection of poems evokes the experience of what it means to be among the missing in contemporary America. This thought-provoking collection of persona poems looks at absence from the standpoint of the witnesses surrounding the void and offers an intimate depiction of those impossible moments of aftermath lived by those who remain accounted for and present. While enabling us to question our own sense of identity, this unique collection of poems reveals the blurred edges of separation between them and us and the impact that the missing have upon our present and future.
Finalist, NAACP Image Awards
About the Author
Jacqueline Jones LaMon is associate professor of English and director of the MFA program in creative writing at Adelphi University. She is author of the poetry collection Gravity, U.S.A. and the novel In the Arms of One Who Loves Me. Her poems have appeared in such journals as the Bellevue Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, Mythium, and RATTLE.
Table of Contents
Polygraph: The Control Questions
Who are you and whom do you love?
Where did you come from / how did you arrive?
How will you begin?
How will you live now?
What is the shape of your body?
Who is responsible for the suffering of your mother?
The Elsewhere Chronicles
Mrs. Minor Gives Directions to Strangers
Two Waffles and a Tall Glass of Milk
The Clairvoyant Channels Clea Hall
Florida Keys Unidentified
Ten Items or Less
The Age-Progression Artist Pencils Thicker Lashes
A Suspect Mother Answers during Polygraph
"Let Me Run Upstairs and Get My Purse . . ."
How the Bryant Boy Will Know
The Facial Reconstructionist Has Cocktails with the Girls
The Network News Director Addresses His Process of Selection
For My Husband: Who Took Our Daughter to the Park So I Could Get Some Rest, Then Fell Asleep and Awakened to an Empty Stroller
Boy Met Girl
At the Carnival, Near Prospect Park
Through a Mutual Friend
At Lance and Carol's Wedding
In July, at Nathan's Clam Bar
On the Tennis Courts
At B. Altman's Department Store
On the Subway
At Rockaway Beach, in Late June
At Claire's Father's Funeral
The San Francisco Sonnets
The Taker Returns from a Ten-Minute Break
San Francisco Bridge Suicide Jumper Considers Relativity
The Missing Girl's Sister
Prom King Goes Stag His Senior Year
The Junior Detective's Wife Speaks Out on the Day of Their Divorce
The Missing Girl's Mother
Priest Refuses Comment on Accident Driver's Acquittal
Olympic Hopeful Assesses Her Victory
The Missing Girl's Cousin
The Present Song of Seagulls on the San Francisco Bay
The Missing Girl's Boyfriend
The Teacher Prepares the Crisis Counseling Team
Couple Tours Alcatraz on Their Silver Anniversary
The Missing Girl's Father
Polygraph: The Guilty Knowledge Test
. . .
What do you remember about the earth?
What are the consequences of silence?
Tell me what you know about dismemberment
Describe a morning you woke without fear
And what would you say if you could?
How will you / have you prepare(d) for your death?
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