Wild Tongue

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Copper Canyon Press, 2007 - Poetry - 203 pages
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“With a bitter and withering irony and an eye for shocking beauty . . . Seiferle cuts straight to the emotionally honest kernel within family, spirit and myth.”—Publishers Weekly

Poet Rebecca Seiferle once said that “one should always read a poem as if it was a matter of life and death.” Seiferle's fourth book of poems, Wild Tongue, suggests a similar belief about writing poems.

The tongue is both voice and body, and Wild Tongue rages against these global bits, bridles, and palliatives that attempt to calm and control. Combining shocking beauty and compelling directness, Seiferle counterbalances divorce and domestic violence with newfound love and cathartic wit. Her poems, like cave drawings, are inspired by urgency and concern, working into the cracks and contours of truth and wound. “The human voice on the edge of extinction,” she writes, “and on that edge, everything wild, unspoken, vital and living, begins to speak out.”

From “The Too Long Married Woman”:

So, it came to this, she could barely bear
to be touched, though she was glad for that
moment in the kitchen, tense with containers,
scrapings of delicacies adhering, floating
in the sink, and the other woman who turned and walked toward
her, holding out her arms, extended
from her shoulders, those most human wings,
to gather her up . . .

Rebecca Seiferle is the editor of the online journal Drunken Boat and has published six volumes of poetry and translation. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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The wild is not destitute of flavor
Black Water

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About the author (2007)

Rebecca Seiferle is the author of four books of poems and two volumes of translations of Cesar Vallejo. She is Lannan Fellow, editor of the online magazine The Drunken Boat, and recently taught at Brown University. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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