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TEMPERTemper, winner of the AWP Award Series 2008 Donald Hall Prize & 2010 Kate Tufts Discovery Award
NEWS: Beth's new manuscript wins the Poetry Society of America's *Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award Click here to read excerpt.
"Restraint and abandon ride side-by-side through these fiercely distilled poems-again and again they bear reluctant witness to the shadows hovering around the edges of every moment. Temper starts with an evocation of a mystery-an empty train station, the words of a last phone call, a sister's body beside the tracks. Move closer. I want to tell you a story, the poet murmurs alluringly, as if to implicate us in the crime. A beautiful unease suffuses these poems-they make me aware I'm alive, and certain of nothing. A stunning debut."
"Beth Bachmann's Temper is an unforgettable first book. Embodied in a poetry that quakes with sorrow one moment and is steely with forensic detail the next--the drainage gate... the tearing/of a pleated skirt- Temper's account of a murder encompasses the polarities of flesh and spirit, love and horror. The drama of this horrifying event, however, is not what is most compelling about Temper. What is most compelling is the way Beth Bachmann presides over the drama with a courage and restraint which manifest themselves as the beauty of these poems."
"Tempered by silence and grappling for meaning beyond story, beyond what is spoken or known, these poems recall absences everywhere - the losses by which we are plagued, what we must endure."
"In its clarity of voice-stark, startling and objective-and in its ability to transmit the literal and psychological violence and danger of experience, Temper reminds me of Louise Gluck's debut volume, First Born. Like Gluck, Beth Bachmann works the charged margins of the mythic imagination, but with a terrifying difference. For Bachmann, myth is also fact. Temper is a marvelous, compelling and disquieting addition to contemporary poetry."
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