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Slant Six

by Erin Belieu

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271680,572 (4.8)1
""Erin Belieu. is always ready to surprise, to astonish, and, ultimately, to defy comparison."-Boston Book Review"[One] of America's finest poets."-Robert Olen ButlerErin Belieu's fourth collection, Slant Six, is an inundation of the humor and horror in contemporary American life-from the last saltine cracked in the sleeve, to the kitty-cat calendar in an office cubicle. With its prophecies of impending destruction, and a simultaneous flood of respect for Americans, Erin Belieu's poems close like Ziploc bags around a human heart.From "12-Step":I am considering lighthousesin a completely new light-their butch neutrality, their grand but modest surfaces.A lighthouse could appear here at any moment.I have been making this effort, placing myself in uncomfortable positions,only for the documented health benefits. Erin Belieu is the author of three books, and her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, the New York Times, and the Atlantic. Belieu co-founded VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and currently directs the creative writing program at Florida State University. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida. "--… (more)
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This book makes me think of my college class on Multiculturalism, which I didn't get, not really, not until years later. Standing there with a copy of Margaret Atwood's Good Bones, proclaiming "this is my culture," the professor asking me "what culture is that?' but I don't know I don't know I don't know. Patiently, she starts giving me words, "white, middle-class, college educated..."

Now I have more words, but still, mostly, I clutch this book in my hands and say "this is my culture." Recognizing myself in "Poem of Philosophical and Parenting Conundrums Written in an Election Year," bracing myself against feeling exactly like "When at a Certain Party in NYC" this fall, and then, of course, "Someone Asks, What Makes This Poem American?" which seems itself to be an answer to that question all those years ago in class, "what culture is that?"

These are poems of everyday life and familiarity and mine. ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
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""Erin Belieu. is always ready to surprise, to astonish, and, ultimately, to defy comparison."-Boston Book Review"[One] of America's finest poets."-Robert Olen ButlerErin Belieu's fourth collection, Slant Six, is an inundation of the humor and horror in contemporary American life-from the last saltine cracked in the sleeve, to the kitty-cat calendar in an office cubicle. With its prophecies of impending destruction, and a simultaneous flood of respect for Americans, Erin Belieu's poems close like Ziploc bags around a human heart.From "12-Step":I am considering lighthousesin a completely new light-their butch neutrality, their grand but modest surfaces.A lighthouse could appear here at any moment.I have been making this effort, placing myself in uncomfortable positions,only for the documented health benefits. Erin Belieu is the author of three books, and her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, the New York Times, and the Atlantic. Belieu co-founded VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and currently directs the creative writing program at Florida State University. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida. "--

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