The Truant Lover

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Nightboat Books, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 74 pages
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Poetry. Juliet Patterson incorporates the voices of Emily Dickinson, Lorine Niedecker, and Wallace Stevens, drawing into her stunning debut a fascination with the difficult, the improbable, and the uneasy. There is a quiet ferocity to mourn the world's injustice and a passion in her work expressing the perplexities of love, grace, and consciousness. For all their easy fluency of detail and lyrical meticulousness, they are poems not intended for the faint-hearted; they are tough, and unsparing, offering for our consolation only their scrupulous precision. "Spare, pastoral, intimate, and probing, these musically exacting poems offer arresting insights: "Here's a world for today: // killing & not dying / fantastically, not lying." They question, invent, refer, divert, take flying risks. They are fluid, considered, dignified. They celebrate the human eye, mind, and tongue. It is a joy to have them in print"--Olga Broumas.

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In the 31 poems of Patterson's debut (also the first full-length collection from Nightboat Books), stories create the experiences they narrate: "As in the parable, the truant lover / arrived ... Read full review


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About the author (2006)

Juliet Patterson's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, Bellingham Review, Bloom, Conduit, Hayden's Ferry Review, Indiana Review, The Journal, New Orleans Review, Sonora Review, typo, Washington Square, Verse and other magazines. Her book, The Truant Lover, was selected by Jean Valentine as the 2004 winner of the Nightboat Poetry Prize and will be published in Spring 2006. A semi-finalist in the Nation/Discovery Award, she is the recipient of a 2004 SASE/Jerome fellowship in poetry, a 2004 fellowship with the Institute for Community and Cultural Development through Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, and a 2003 Arts fellowship from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She teaches poetry and creative writing in Minneapolis through the College of St. Catherine, Hamline University, The Loft Literary Center, the Perpich Center for Arts Education, and Banfill-Locke Arts Center. She has worked with children teaching at John Hopkins University with the Center for Talented Youth and as a volunteer educator with the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, United Cambodian Association of Minnesota, the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. She has also worked as a bookseller, apple picker, journalist, and volunteer naturalist. She lives near the west bank of the Mississippi in Minneapolis.

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