Winner of the 2001 Kenyon Review Prize in Poetry
Synopses & Reviews
Open House is the year 2001 winner of the Kenyon Review Prize in Poetry for a First Book. We at Zoo are eminently pleased to have such a fine book of verse for our inaugural Kenyon Review Prize volume. Fennelly's poems are well poised in their witty and sometime sassy ruminations, often "maximalist" in their scope (see "From L' HÙtel Terminus Notebooks") and the pleasure one takes within them is of the rarest breed: it is the pleasure of unexpected revelation. Open House comes introduced by series judge and Kenyon Review poetry editor, David Baker.
"This collection became one of our biggest sellers last year following a series of masterful readings by the author. The poems spring off the page themselves, so funny, warm, wise, and alive with motion. The experiments in style here are not tricks, but paths to surprising depths. Read Beth Ann Fennelly now and beat the rush." Jamie Kornegay, Square Books, Oxford, MS
"With its high spirits, its love of textures of different kinds of writing, its search for ways to frame ambitious energies....'From L'Hotel Terminus Notebooks' (a poem within Open House) advances with a determination to keep the author interested and alive to her materials; in places, amused with itself and hopscotching, in places veering into unexpected depths, it is an immensely lively performance." Robert Hass, former US Poet Laureate, in The Kenyon Review
"Beth Ann Fennelly's Open House stands out from the poetry of most younger American poets with their sober self-confessions or, conversely, their sarcastic throw-away wit. Here is sincere passion in great, mature portions, with a tenderness toward her characters both far away and near, a historical aptitude and relevance, a strength of spirit, and a wisdom at home in the substantial body of the work. I greet this book, this poet, with joy." David Baker, from his introduction
"Beth Ann Fennelly is an ambitious and spacious young talent. The poems in A Different Kind of Hunger (Ms. Fennelly's chapbook of poems contained within Open House) range widely in form and subject matter...there is a striking accuracy of language and notable skill that sets them apart, displaying a promising, authentic voice." Paul Zimmer in The Georgia Review
"Reflecting a subtle eye for telling visual details and a keen ear for the music of the language, this volume marks the arrival of an important poetic talent....The dynamic sense of life distilled in Fennelly's verse, along with her gifted use of personae, provide clear evidence of her unique and compelling voice. Amply demonstrating her talent, the chapbook leaves the reader with the promise of more exceptional work in the future." Jeff Roessner in The Notre Dame Review
About the Author
Beth Ann was the 1999 Diane Middlebrook Fellow at the University of Wisconsin and is a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Grant. Her poems have been anthologized in Poets of the New Century, The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, The Best American Poetry 1996, and The Pushcart Prize 2001. She lives in Galesburg, IL, with her husband, fiction writer Tom Franklin, and their newborn daughter, Claire.