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Kathleen Graber

2005 • 96 pp. 1 illus. 6 3/4 x 8"

$14.00 Paperback, 978-0-9754990-3-0

“[Correspondence is] as intelligent as it is moving, as emotionally astute as it is linguistically mesmerizing...”—Sima Rabinowitz, Dragonfire

Winner of the 2005 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, selected by Bob Hicok

“Correspondence,” writes Mark Doty, “is a fresh accomplishment, swift with feeling and intelligence, the work of a restless critical mind mapping its way toward a way to bear the weight of love.” Kathleen Graber’s debut book takes us on a trip through history and time, varying her subjects with speed and seamlessness, to a dizzying, dazzling effect. From the Philadelphia Eagles to Cornell’s boxes, from a fertility clinic to Daguerre’s prints, from Kafka to running over two cats, from Annette Benning to Marianne Moore, Kathleen Graber’s poems embrace what her inquisitive mind traverses, ensnaring past and present, familiar and foreign, soulful and scientific, in a celebration of chaos that is generous and healing.”

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Reviews / Endorsements

“In these poems, it's the way in which correspondences slip and fail to correspond that generates the beauty and deeply felt intelligence of the whole: "I want it all. Every broken brick: / if not the fruit, the flower, if not this, the rind, whatever it is / that's left over." Here it is the struggle with incongruity that binds each assemblage together.”—Boston Review

“Correspondence is a book which honors its epigraphs. Quoting Walter Benjamin, Kathleen Graber makes clear that she "takes up the struggle against dispersion." This is a poetry of meditative embrace, which both repairs and celebrates the often chaotic nature of life. Her long lines and slow cadences lend a devotional feel to poems in which the hidden and forgotten are returned to the lyric realm of consciousness. She would hold everything and clarify everything she holds. There is a mending quality to Graber's imagination, a mending of self by extension into the world. This is a wonderful book.”—Bob Hicok

“The tool of the genius in the twentieth century, Donald Barthelme once wrote, is rubber cement. Our modes of juxtaposition may be electronic and instantaneous, but the principle's dead-on: meaning arises, in this hour, in the new relations created by assemblage and hybridity, the conjunction of unexpected elements. Kathleen Graber's remarkable debut volume practices a poetic version of what surveyors call "triangulation"; by mapping points in the landscape and drawing lines between them, it's possible to identify where one stands, or at least to point toward what lies within the space identified by these lines of interchange. Thus Walter Benjamin, the copy shop and the reproductive clinic—or Joseph Cornell's boxes, a museum version of Marianne Moore's preserved living room, and freight boxes stacked by the tracks of New Jersey—become ways of locating a position from which to speak, to examine language's powers and failures, the inability of words to contain—or to remedy—desire. Correspondence is a fresh accomplishment, swift with feeling and intelligence, a restless critical mind mapping its way toward a means to bear the weight of love.”—Mark Doty

Author Photo

KATHLEEN GRABER is the recipient of fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She is a graduate of New York University's Creative Writing Program and teaches in the Expository Writing Program there.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:55:29 -0500