PoemsBook - 2012
Finalist, 2012 NBCC Award in the Poetry category
Recipient, 2011 MacArthur Fellowship and Guggenheim Fellowship
A. E. Stallings has established herself as one of the best American poets of her generation. In addition to a lively dialogue with both the contemporary and ancient culture of her adopted homeland, Greece, this new collection features poems that, in her inimitable voice, address the joys and anxieties of marriage and motherhood. This collection builds on previous accomplishments with some longer poems and sequences of greater philosophical scope, such as "On Visiting a Borrowed Country House in Arcadia." Stallings possesses the rare ability to craft precise poems that pulsate with deeply felt emotion. Like the olives of the title, the book embraces the bitter but savory fruits of the ancient tree, and the tears and sweetness we harvest in our temporary lives. These poems show Stallings in complete command of her talent, able to suggest the world in a word.
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Poetry, I would argue, is the perfect summer reading. Even when the content or language is dense, it feels spacious surrounded by the bright white sunlight of the page. Poems offer breathing room. And books of poetry are even better: there is no need to read chronologically; you are free to meander, stop, start, get lost, pop into that little metaphor without a care for time. You don’t always (more)