“Scenes from central Paris, lines from Dante’s Purgatorio, puns and chains of euphonies, queues of gondoliers, puns in Italian, sonic associations and internal rhymes as intricate as silver filigree: these... [continued in Reviews below]”—Publishers Weekly
The highly anticipated new book from the Pulitzer finalist
"Angie Estes has recently created some of the most beautiful verbal objects on the planet." (Stephen Burt, Boston Review)
“James Merrill, Amy Clampitt and Gjertrud Schnackenberg all won praise, and sparked controversy, for their elaboration; Estes shares some of their challenges, should please their readers, and belongs in their stellar company.” – Publishers Weekly
Angie Estes' previous book, Tryst (also from Oberlin College Press), was named one of two finalists for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, as "a collection of poems remarkable for its variety of subjects, array of genres and nimble use of language." Her much-anticipated new book is another glittering demonstration of her gifts.
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Reviews / Endorsements
“Scenes from central Paris, lines from Dante’s Purgatorio, puns and chains of euphonies, queues of gondoliers, puns in Italian, sonic associations and internal rhymes as intricate as silver filigree: these effects of extreme, self-conscious, often European-identified beauty work in this fifth book from Estes (Tryst) not just as ways to delight on their own, but as counterpoints to the mortality and the mourning (especially for her mother and father) that give the book its gravity. Outdoors at night, “Like denizens/ of the cadenza, cicadas scratching/ their cicatrices, a star shines until day/ begins to lighten the sky, the shining/ gone through the star remains”: the star in turn suggests the poet’s ill mother, whose dementia reminds Estes how “In Paradise,/ Dante says, we will have only a memory/ of having had a memory, now lost.” Renaissance culture and literature cannot stop the pain, but nothing else can, and so Estes commits her poetry at once to the pursuit of older beauty, acoustic beauty, architectural beauty, even the frivolous beauty of “Dessert,” and to the telling of present truth, from Southern American funerals to Sienese illuminations and French baritones. James Merrill, Amy Clampitt and Gjertrud Schnackenberg all won praise, and sparked controversy, for their elaboration; Estes shares some of their challenges, should please their readers, and belongs in their stellar company.” —Publishers Weekly
“Enchantée is a dazzling book of metamorphoses. At first, Angie Estes' words stand out bright as silver tacks on the page, and in the next instant her words shift and glide, turn sinuous, and trail in their wake startling perceptions about memory, sorrow, innocence, and knowledge. Any one of Estes' poems may remind us of a gorgeous hanging garden--until the poem spans distances and evokes a sky starred with constellations. And then, in a blink, the poem shifts shape yet again.”—Lee Upton
“Enchantée: you will be, when you meet these poems. The enchantment has to do with incantation: the way Angie Estes puts experience into song. She lets words take the initiative, as Mallarme said poets must, to see where the secret logic of sound will lead. Ricocheting among languages, places, and time periods, the play is plangent, tinged by nostalgia historical and personal. But Estes is too fascinated with what is happening on the page, and the next one after that, too interested in poetry's potential, to get hung up about the past. This is a poetry of style, elegance, and fresh surprise, for the ear and the eye, the heart and the mind. It reminds me why I read.”—Langdon Hammer
From the Book:
As it turns morning into light, you can hear
the earth creak on its axis, release the red cheek
cheek cheek of a cardinal.
- Winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award (2015)
Winner of the Audre Lorde Prize (2014)
ANGIE ESTES is the author of four previous books, most recently Tryst (2009), which was selected as one of two finalists for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. Her second book, Voice-Over (2002), won the 2001 FIELD Poetry Prize and was also awarded the 2001 Alice Fay di Castagnola Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Her first book, The Uses of Passion (1995), was the winner of the Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize. The recipient of many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Cecil Hemley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and a Pushcart Prize, she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the California Arts Council, and the Ohio Arts Council, and has been awarded artist residencies by The MacDowell Colony and the Lannan Foundation.