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About Kim Addonizio
Kim Addonizio is a fiction writer, poet, and teacher. Her poetry collections include Tell Me, a finalist for the National Book Award, What Is This Thing Called Love, and Lucifer at the Starlite. She lives in Oakland, California.
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From the nuts and bolts of craft to the sources of inspiration, this book is for anyone who wants to write poetry-and do it well.
The Poet's Companion presents brief essays on the elements of poetry, technique, and suggested subjects for writing, each followed by distinctive writing exercises. The ups and downs of writing life—including self-doubt and writer's block—are here, along with tips about getting published and writing in the electronic age. On your own, this book can be your "teacher," while groups, in or out of the classroom, can profit from sharing weekly assignments.
A dark, no-holds-barred, and often hilarious collection from a prize-winning poet, veering between the poles of self and world.
Kim Addonizio’s sharp and irreverent eighth volume, Now We’re Getting Somewhere, is an essential companion to your practice of the Finnish art of kalsarikännit—drinking at home, alone in your underwear, with no intention of going out. Imbued with the poet’s characteristic precision and passion, the collection charts a hazardous course through heartache, climate change, dental work, Outlander, semiotics, and more.
Combatting existential gloom with a wicked, seductive energy, Addonizio investigates desire, loss, and the madness of contemporary life. She calls out to Walt Whitman and John Keats, echoes Dorothy Parker, and finds sisterhood with Virginia Woolf.
Sometimes confessional, sometimes philosophical, these poems weave from desolation to drollery and clamor with raucous imagery: an insect in high heels, a wolf at an uncomfortable party, a glowing and self-serious guitar.
A poet whose “voice lifts from the page, alive and biting” (Sky Sanchez, San Francisco Book Review), Addonizio reminds her reader, "if you think nothing & / no one can / listen I love you joy is coming."
In this fresh approach to writing poetry, the coauthor of the perennially popular The Poet's Companion offers sharp insights into the craft of writing.
"The creative process is just that," maintains Kim Addonizio. "Not a means to an end, but an ongoing participation." A widely acclaimed poet and finalist for the National Book Award, Addonizio meditates on her own process as she encourages writers to explore both their personal and political worlds, to seek inspiration from poets new and old, and to discover the rich poetic resources of the Internet. Lively, accessible, and informative, Ordinary Genius?provides wisdom gleaned through personal experience and offers a heady variety of writing exercises. Chapters on gender, addiction, race and class, metaphor and line invite each individual writer to find and to hone his or her unique voice. This is the perfect book for both experienced writers and beginners eager to glimpse the angel of poetry.
“Kim Addonizio’s voice lifts from the page, alive and biting—unleashing wit with a ruthless observation.”—San Francisco Book Review
Passionate and irreverent, Mortal Trash transports the readers into a world of wit, lament, and desire. In a section called “Over the Bright and Darkened Lands,” canonical poems are torqued into new shapes. “Except Thou Ravish Me,” reimagines John Donne’s famous “Batter my heart, Three-person’d God” as told from the perspective of a victim of domestic violence. Like Pablo Neruda, Addonizio hears “a swarm of objects that call without being answered”: hospital crash carts, lawn gnomes, Evian bottles, wind-up Christmas creches, edible panties, cracked mirrors. Whether comic, elegiac, or ironic, the poems in Mortal Trash remind us of the beauty and absurdity of our time on earth.
We believe in the one-ton rose
and the displaced toilet equally. Our blues
assume you understand
not much, and try to be alive, just as we do,
and that it may be helpful to hold the hand
of someone as lost as you.
A lyrically intense fifth collection from “one of the nation’s most provocative and edgy poets” (San Diego Union-Tribune).
With both passion and precision, Lucifer at the Starlite explores life’s dual nature: good and evil, light and dark, suffering and moments of unexpected joy. Whether looking outward to events on the world stage—the war in Iraq, the 2004 Asian tsunami—or inward at struggles with the self, these poems aim at the heart and against the feeling that Lucifer may have already won the day.
from “Lucifer at the Starlite”
Here’s my bright idea for life on earth:
better management. The CEO
has lost touch with the details. I’m worth
as much, but I care; I come down here, I show
my face, I’m a real regular. A toast:
To our boys and girls in the war, grinding
through sand, to everybody here, our host
who’s mostly mist, like methane rising
When Rita witnesses the aftermath of a murder, her own life is endangered. She becomes involved with Gary Shepard, a married criminal investigator drawn to the dark side of this young woman. What unfolds is a story of three flawed people struggling with themselves as much as with their circumstances, as each of them is pulled more deeply and dangerously into the consequences of their decisions. When a drunken night leads Jimmy to jeopardize his second and last chance, it seems unlikely that these sweet, damaged people will ever come to anything, let alone find and -- miracle of miracles -- save one another.
But fate, in Addonizio's hands, works in strange and beautiful geometries. And redemption, she tells us, is never impossible.
In "Beautiful Lady of the Snow," young Annabelle turns to a host of family pets to combat the alienation she feels caught between her distracted mother and ailing grandfather; in "Night Owls," a young college student's crush on her acting partner is complicated by the bloodlust of being half-vampire; in "Cancer Poems," a dying woman turns to a poetry workshop to make sense of her terminal diagnosis and final days; in "Intuition," a young girl's sexual forays bring her closer to her best friend's father; and in the collection's title story, a photographer looks back to his youth spent as a young illusionist under the big tent and his obsessive affair with the carnival owner's wife.
Distracted parents, first love, the twin forces of alienation and isolation: the characters in The Palace of Illusions all must contend with these challenges, trafficking in the fault lines between the real and the imaginary, often in a world not of their making.
The stories in this collection have appeared in journals ranging from Narrative Magazine to The Fairy Tale Review, and include the much loved "Ever After," which was featured on NPR's "Selected Shorts."
Previously considered the domain of bikers and a rite of passage in the army, tattoos have crawled out of society’s fringes and onto the ankles of starlets and the biceps of bankers. While still risque enough to raise a mother-in-law’s eyebrow, tattoos have come to be one of the most popular forms of personal expression. DOROTHY PARKER’S ELBOW brings together some of the most erotic, humorous, and vivid fiction, essays, and poetry that explore the mysterious fascination and the intensity of emotion attached to the act of being tattooed. Readers will join great writers, including Flannery O’Connor, Rick Moody, Elizabeth McCracken, Sylvia Plath, and more in celebrating the tattoo experience in all of its rebellious glory.
Jamie can't stand being pregnant. She can't wait to get on with her normal life and give the baby up for adoption. But her yet-to-be-born daughter, Stella, has a fierce will and a destiny to fulfill. And as the magical plot of Little Beauties unfolds, these three characters' lives become linked in ever more surprising ways.