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Famous Last Words
Catherine Pierce

2008 • 80 pp. 1 illus. 5 1/2 x 7 1/2"

$14.00 Paperback, 978-0-9754990-7-8

“Pierce’s book won the 2007 Saturnalia Prize (selected that year by John Yau), but it possesses none of the signs of a first book. Her... [continued in Reviews below]”—Patrick Kanouse, Gently Read Literature

Winner of the 2007 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, Selected by John Yau

Catherine Pierce’s debut, Famous Last Words, is a love letter to life, poetry, and all things American. Beginning with a series of literal love poems (to the word “lonesome”, to blank space, to doo-wop, to fear, etc.), Pierce whisks the reader on a cross-country road trip (both literally and figuratively) that takes a tangential spree into a series of genre films and ends with gallows humor in the re-imagining of the events surrounding the famous last words of icons like Billy the Kid, Marie Antoinette, Isadora Duncan, and Pancho Villa. From start to finish, Pierce’s book is a delight to the senses, a playful, nostalgic dance that ends with the reader wanting more.

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Reviews / Endorsements

“Pierce’s book won the 2007 Saturnalia Prize (selected that year by John Yau), but it possesses none of the signs of a first book. Her ambitions are high, but she often meets those ambitions–variety of topic with a consistency of voice, a willingness to dabble outside of the mainstream of poetry, and a substantial command of language balanced by grace and simplicity.”—Patrick Kanouse, Gently Read Literature

“Catherine Pierce has written an exhilarating book, one that rewards its lucky reader with intelligence and lyric grace and dance-hall, crushed corsage swing. A pure delight.”—Lynne McMahon

“Catherine Pierce gets to the conundrum of language; we want to believe what it says and we don’t believe it. She understands our need to tell tall stories, to exaggerate and embellish, to become figures that we are not, but wish to be. Her empathy for the abject in us is always riddled with humor, self-mocking, sharp, and, at times, painful. Recognizing that words can be both a solace and an accuser, Pierce walks that tightrope with grace.”—John Yau

Author Photo

CATHERINE PIERCE Pierce grew up in Delaware and now lives in Starkville, Mississippi, where she is an assistant professor of creative writing at Mississippi State University. She is the author of a chapbook, Animals of Habit (2004).

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:54:42 -0500