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The Diminishing House
Nicky Beer

Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series

Carnegie Mellon University Press
2010 • 72 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry / Poetry - American

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-88748-516-9

The debut collection of poetry by Nicky Beer.

In Nicky Beer's The Diminishing House, birds are disemboweled, a father is mourned, and a basement fills with snakes. This first book of resonant lyric poetry meditates on such subjects as animals, art, and anatomy, and transforms the familiar and mundane into something strangely mythic. Beer explores the exhilaration and frustration of living in a sensuous, unstable world filled with grief and desire.

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"Nicky Beer's scrupulous articulations make the most of diminishing things. She names the body electric and sings against our losses and erosions with uncanny verbal precision. This is a shining first book."—Edward Hirsch

"What a sober delight it is to read Nicky Beer's The Diminishing House, whose rooms of poems are generated in loss, but completed in joy. Even the most grievous reminder of a parent's death, a favorite song still haunting the speaker, is rendered not as renewed hurt, but as springboard to revelation. Beauty out of damage: "Song from a cut throat: / catgut, sheepgut, woodskin. // This song is what the mind can bear." The cut to gut to gut to skin reminds us of the violence underpinning the crafting of instruments, made all the more valuable because of it. Whatever darkness falls in this book, the poet is given the means and mind to transform it. As Nicky Beer brilliantly puts it: 'The dark makes you a gap-goer, tether-tongued.' These are unforgettable poems."—Lynne McMahon


Colorado Book Award in Poetry 2011

NICKY BEER is from the Long Island town of Northport, NY. She holds degrees from Yale University, the University of Houston, and the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has received a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Louis Untermeyer Tuition Scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and a Discovery/The Nation Award. She is married to the poet Brian Barker, and teaches at the University of Colorado, Denver.

Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:15:38 -0500