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At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky
Bridget Lowe

Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series

Carnegie Mellon
2013 • 64 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-88748-563-3

The debut collection of poems by Bridget Lowe

Tell me, pleads the speaker in the opening lines of "Poem for Virginia in Ecstasy." Tell me all about it. That consuming curiosity is emblematic of this anticipated debut collection, which investigates, interrogates, and animates its subjects with a strong mix of empathy and imagination. Whether depicting The Wild Boy of Aveyron’s introduction to high society (a failed formal dinner arranged by his doctor), Nijinsky's autopsy (his feet are opened in search of a mechanism that would explain his genius), or the actress Sean Young's turn as Isadora Duncan in a Russian ballet (she is adored), these poems want to know more, to see beneath the costume to the essence of the individual. A measured polemic against quantifiable knowledge and scientific truth, At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky celebrates its subjects' differences—which is to say their genius—by laying them bare.

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Reviews / Endorsements

Contemplative and intimate, Bridget Lowe’s At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky is an uncommonly mature debut. Her poems conduct a forensic inquiry into ways to heal the rifts between mind and body, the traumatic wars between our animal and spiritual selves. With an artful integration of feeling and technique, she interweaves evidence drawn from her own experience and the lives of figures like The Wild Boy of Aveyron, a pilgrim, a forgotten actress, Nijinsky. These thwarted souls, reminiscent of Chekhovian characters mystified by their own erratic behavior and disappointments, are memorably etched. In her poems, Lowe interprets the tragic conundrums of life with empathy and analytic clarity. At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky is a waking dream filled with somber, beautiful images, and echoes, resonances, and leitmotifs that create a plaintive music the reader will return to again and again.—Herbert Leibowitz

BRIDGET LOWE’s poems have appeared in The New Republic, American Poetry Review, Denver Quarterly, Parnassus, Best American Poetry, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of Beloit College and earned her MFA in poetry at Syracuse University. Her honors include a "Discovery"/Boston Review Prize and the 2011 Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellowship to The MacDowell Colony. This is her first book.

Fri, 6 Jul 2018 13:27:59 -0500