Synopses & Reviews
Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. Again riffs on common words — tremendous, terrific, disaster, wall, ban — that have been overused and misused in recent years, made to carry the weight of disturbing connotations. In poems that speak through both a collective voice and a singular, personal one, Again maps the emotional territories of this specific — but not unique — moment in United States history. Jennifer Perrine's poems trace a path through this surreal landscape, illuminating a terrain of disorientation, grief, and shame at the America we have made. Again is an anthem, a reckoning for the "land of the smack that makes us see stars, home of the belt that stripes our backs." Drawing on allusions that range from nursery rhymes and folk tales to Simone de Beauvoir and The Wizard of Oz, the poems explore the nuances of each fraught word, recollecting its various meanings and resisting monolithic rhetoric. Through wordplay and wry wit, Again steals these words back, infusing the language "once more / with feeling."
"Perrine looks both at what the individual self and individual words mean in a country that feels dystopian. With these sensuous and often mythic makeovers, language shines again." Traci Brimhall
"The tone of Again is bleak, brutally satiric. Its voice is richly musical, deeply archetypal. And the combination is riveting....Jennifer Perrine summons poetry's powerful devices to tell us the brutal truth." Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita
"[Perrine] gives us the myth of our country's current moment in a voice at once Greek chorus and intimate monologue, reminding us of the very shared humanity we cannot afford to ignore." Keetje Kuipers
"The poet's language absolutely sings; even when the song is grim, it holds us up. Like a short story, this stunning book calls to be read in one sitting." Ingrid Wendt
About the Author
Jennifer Perrine is the author of three previous books of poetry, most recently No Confession, No Mass (University of Nebraska Press), winner of the Publishing Triangle Audre Lorde Award and the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Perrine's other books include In the Human Zoo (University of Utah Press), which was selected for the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize, and The Body Is No Machine (New Issues). A recipient of fellowships from Literary Arts and the Vermont Studio Center, Perrine lives in Portland, Oregon.