Synopses & Reviews
After ten years of selecting great books from writers, new and established, Prairie Schooner
celebrates the first decade of its Book Prize series by offering this collection of excerpts from each years winners in fiction and poetry. Writers such as Brock Clarke, Anne Finger, Rynn Williams, and Paul Guest open windows to ordinary and fantastic experience showcasing the liveliness and power of contemporary literature. Greg Hrbeks darkly comic, genre-bending tales stand alongside Ted Gilleys stories about achieving bliss through pain and John Keebles reflections on community and the difficulty of love. Here Shane Books poems serve as an elegiac witness to suffering, while Kathleen Flennikens poems consider ordinary women constructing their own significance, and Kara Canditos explore sex, loss, and human passions.
Whether the topic is fantastic or quotidian, childbirth or monsters, South American airplane disaster or suburban Wisconsin, this writing carries us to the furthest reaches of human experience.
“The Prairie Schooner Book Prize series has brought a host of wonderful writers to us. This anthology shines with new and familiar voices—voices often made familiar by being chosen as contest winners. An anthology to cherish.”—Stephen Dunn, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winner Different Hours Stephen Dunn
“An invaluable, wonderful, delicious, and exciting collection of important writing. It is a trustworthy snapshot of the literary scene from the last ten years. Some voices we have heard, and all voices we will be—without a doubt—hearing more from in the future. For anyone interested in the best of the current state of wordsmithery, this anthology is an excellent place to start.”—Randall Kenan, author of Let the Dead Bury Their Dead Randall Kenan
“These fine poems and stories offer intense pleasure as they enlarge the range of human perception. The best part is that when you find writers here who speak powerfully to you, theres more—you can enjoy each book in the Prairie Schooner Book Prize series.”—Peggy Shumaker, former Alaska State Writer Laureate and author of Gnawed Bones Peggy Shumaker
"Taste of Cherry derives its name from the Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami's film of the same name about a man who considers suicide but decides to live after tasting mulberries. The title invokes something powerfully present in Candito's poems as glimmers of these pivotal moments of sensation emerge, revealing layers of meaning buried beneath the surface of our daily experience."—Katie Willingham, Rain Taxi
“In Kara Canditos remarkable first collection, we feel in the presence of a sure, authoritative voice, an intelligence and sensibility capable of registering the complexities of the sensual life.”—Stephen Dunn, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Different Hours
“These poems are poised and raw, hard-knuckled and siren-sweet. Their many speakers confess openly to a desire to be transformed, even undone, by unmitigated experience. Fearlessly and with clear-eyed candor, Candito sings a whole new set of constellations—made of ‘the bodys light . . . the din of a hundred conversations—into bright being.”—Tracy K. Smith, author of Duende
“Just as wry, smartly provocative and interestingly disturbing as its title promises. With this book, Candito announces herself as a poetic voice born to our landscape fully formed, with intelligence and style to spare.”—Erin Belieu, author of Black Box
“The speaker of these poems wanders again and again ‘where the guidebook says DANGER, and even as the poet finds terror and pain in the lavish wreckage of twisted urges, a formal clarity, fueled by a profound hunger for life, keeps asserting itself in Taste of Cherry.”—Dean Young
In Kara Canditos prize-winning debut collection a “garish/human theatre” comes to life against richly textured geographic and psychic landscapes. These poems are high-speed meditations on a world where Walter Benjamin meets the “glitzy chain-link of Chanel scarves” and Puccinis Tosca meets the din of the Times Square subway station. Ferociously witty and intensely lyrical, Taste of Cherry speaks to us in a language that is simultaneously private and public, sensual and cerebral.
About the Author
Kara Canditos work has appeared in such journals as Gulf Coast, Blackbird, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, Best New Poets 2007, and the Florida Review. She has been awarded scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and the Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences Foundation. She has an MFA from the University of Maryland and is currently a PhD candidate and instructor at Florida State University.