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The Last Clear Narrative
Rachel Zucker

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2004 • 120 pp. 8 1/2 x 8 1/2"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6711-6
$12.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7612-5

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

Radical, intimate poems about marriage and motherhood.

In her second collection of poems, Rachel Zucker returns to a more autobiographical stance and writes about the particulars of marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood—experiences that radically surprised her. But this is no simple reportage. With candor, humor, and compassion, Zucker discovers a new poetic territory: a landscape between story and fragment, a way of telling that is neither confessional nor intellectually detached. At the cliff-edge of narrative, a high place where language is the rope and falling the perception, Zucker’s poems are unsentimental, true to the disjunctive experiences of loving, giving birth, raising a child, being lonely, being alive. A poetry of the body, of desire, about human frailty and strength, The Last Clear Narrative fills a void in the history of women writing about everyday experience and speaks to the nature of narrative itself.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“In poem after stunning poem, The Last Clear Narrative is one woman telling the truth about her life, to recall Muriel Rukeyser, and in so doing, splitting the world back open.” —Cynthia Hogue, author of Flux

“Refreshingly straightforward in its emotional approach, The Last Clear Narrative combines experimental poetic techniques with personal material, often of great intensity, and with encounters with the quotidian world.”Reginald Shepherd, author of Wrong and Otherhood

From the Book:

“It [marriage] is no use and no use describing.
Yours in nothing like this.
Even my husband’s marriage is nothing like this.

Try to rhyme two words after the fact by rubbing them together—
spark, spark, nothing…in this damp clime it seems
rhyming’s out of season.”
—from “Five Days on Fire Island or ‘Marriage Opens a Panel on a Lacquered Box’”

Author Photo

RACHEL ZUCKER is the author of Eating in the Underworld (Wesleyan, 2003). Winner of the Barrow Street Award, the Strousse Prize, and the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize, Zucker's poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies including APR, Colorado Review, Pleiades, and The Best American Poetry 2001. She lives in New York City, and has more information at her web site,

Tue, 15 May 2018 12:58:26 -0500