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Never Be the Horse

Winner of the 1998 Akron Poetry Prize

Never Be the Horse depicts the world of a postmodern Dark Dorothy whose attempts to return home are foiled when she falls into the Garden of Eden, into the underworld with Walt Whitman, into mysterious versions of her own childhood. The poems evoke this nighttime within the self haunted by mythic and shadow-paradises—of home, hom… >>Read more

Nineteenth Century American Asylums

In the nineteenth century, several institutions were established in the United States to house and care for the mentally ill. By 1880, 139 “asylums” and “mental hospitals” had been created using both private and public funds, and by 1890, every state had built one or more publicly supported mental hospitals. Although early American asylums were often underfunded and crow… >>Read more

Notes for a Late-Blooming Martyr

In Notes for a Late-Blooming Martyr, Marlys West takes a coolly amused look at what we create of ourselves: our habits of home and mind, the prosthetics and courtesies, the small timid gestures and screaming leaps that make up our lives and deaths. Influenced by such diverse things as summer vacations, the plight of Satan and the saints, and a love of American speech, these poems suggest… >>Read more

Nothing Fatal

What happens when love is replaced by romance? In Nothing Fatal, Sarah Perrier explores this and other questions about our contemporary understanding of dating, relationships, sex, and marriage. In the opening lines of "Too Darn Hot," a poem fueled by the same weary ardor as Cole Porter's song, the speaker asks, "Why sort the doubletalk from the innuendo? / They're both lyrical." Rather … >>Read more