Tiny Chasm

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39 West Press, Jun 7, 2016 - Poetry - 132 pages
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Tiny Chasm, the third book of poetry by Jeanette Powers, explores the miniscule openings in our psyches in order to reveal the vast infrastructures of our neuroses, anxieties, and joys. It ponders the responsibilities of self to child and society; the ways we are manipulated and conditioned; the struggles of loss and longing; as well as the pathways into awareness and being present.

These poems challenge societal standards, reveal surprising taboos, and don't hesitate to demand accountability. For example, "Enough Pussyfooting" accuses religious radicals of suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, "Shadow Children" reviles absent fathers, and "Breadbox" bombastically demeans those who don't press criminal charges against violators of children. The finger-pointing, however, turns inward as well, by taking total acerbic (and existential) responsibility for how one moves forward from victimization and abuse.

Yet alongside the vitriol and unabashed lashing out at cultural injustices, the absurdest side of Jeanette frolics in light-hearted pieces about finding happiness and dating yourself ("Things I Learned from Bill Murray" and "Tangible, Peculiar"). The volume also includes a number of previously unpublished slam poems from her controversial tenure with PoUnd SLAM, a selection of prose, and one of her notorious persona poems, "Just Cause," which is written from the voice of an incipient revolution.

Thus, Tiny Chasm is about the value of things that seem insignificant but are intrinsically essential.


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About the author (2016)

Jeanette Powers is a Kansas City based performance artist, poet, and live show producer. She acts as the entertainment director of the Arts Bar, a venue dedicated to cultivating emerging performance artists, and each month executive produces and oversees more than fifty original arts events that feature a wide array of local and national artists. She also serves as the Creative Editor for Spartan Press' POP POETRY: #12poetsin12months series, which releases a book of poetry each month from a different regional poet and hosts a corresponding book release and open mic event. In 2015, this project was awarded an Inspiration Grant from Arts KC.

The author of two previous volumes of poetry, Absolute Futility and Earthworms & Stars (both published through Spartan Press), Ms. Powers is widely known for her public performance art pieces, which she refers to as Exposure Art. These performances are created in the moment and take art outside of traditional venues, thereby allowing direct engagement with the public in shared spaces.

Last year, she was selected to represent Kansas City's PoUND SLAM team at the 2015 Women of the World Poetry Slam and was voted the Best Poet of Kansas City 2015 in The Pitch Magazine's annual Reader's Choice poll.

Ms. Powers holds degrees in Math and Physics, avidly canoes in the nude, and is currently working on a book of illuminations entitled Chasing the Sun, which she plans to complete during her 2016 Artist in Residency at Osage Arts Community.

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