Milk Dress: Poems
"Milk Dress is a meticulous chronicle of devotion and terror, love and responsibility. To watch a poet with a poet's skill address what is that which without which we would have nothing is exhilarating and what we have poetry for."—Dara Wier
In this cool, manifold chronicle of motherhood, Nicole Cooley tackles the experience of creation, occupying a new vernacular of love within danger. Her poems—animate self-reflections of both merged bodies and violent separation—confront the turbulence of fear and safety.
From "Mater Dolorosa":
The September sky burns metal blue, each day's fabric torn away
Write toward the girl, asleep beside me, her small body made
and toward the mother who waits, all night, awake, standing
Write against blankness, a sheet strung tight, a bed the color
Nicole Cooley grew up in New Orleans. Her book of poems, Breach, about Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Coast, was published by LSU Press in April 2010. She has published three other books: Resurrection, winner of the Walt Whitman Award (LSU Press, 1996); The Afflicted Girls (LSU Press, 2004); and Judy Garland, Ginger Love (HarperCollins Publishers, 1998). She directs the MFA program in creative writing and literary translation at Queens College–City University of New York and lives in New Jersey with her husband and two young daughters.