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The brilliance of Joyelle McSweeney's poems is a given; what remains delightfully open to negotiation are its methodologies and its mien. Is she an earnest relator, using wit and gesture to tell the story faster? Or does she take the piss of her subjects, using perfected skills of mimicry and divination to exploit, spot on, their errant humanities? In her second book McSweeney finds her subjects in the long form; "The Commandrine" is a verse-play that in nine scenes tells the story of sailors Zest, Coast, Ivory, and Irish, and their watery run-in with the Devil. "The Cockatoos Morose" stirs Eliotic grandeur with Stevensian absurdity for a cocktail of delirious observation and rigorous leaps of the sort McSweeney is certain to become famous for. "Crusade-dream flips like a standard. The standard / narrows to a point. And points. / Then it dips like a fern."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780974090931
ISBN-10: 097409093X
Format: Paperback
(203mm x 152mm x 6mm)
Pages: 80
Imprint: University Press of New England
Publisher: University Press of New England
Publish Date: 30-Nov-2004
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Joyelle McSweeney

Joyelle McSweeney earned her BA from Harvard and holds an MPhil in English Studies from Oxford University, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Brief reviews of hers have appeared in The Boston Review and she is now a staff critic for The Constant Critic. She is a Professor in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

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