Shopping Cart Link

Four Way Books

Sign up for our newsletter

Bookmark and Share
Cart link
Paperback add to cart

For Educators
View cart
Cover image Click for larger image

Bad Daughter
Sarah Gorham

Four Way
2011 • 84 pp. 6 x 9"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-1-935536-16-1

“The clear-eyed poems of Sarabande Books publisher Gorham's fourth collection of poems charts the sometimes transcendent, sometimes terrifying, often uneasy spaces that open between mothers and daughters who then become mothers themselves. ...”—Publishers Weekly

“It is true when a girl sinks, her hair spreads like a flower / across water”

Bad Daughter explores misbehavior—its risky pleasures and often tragic consequences—through poems about “bad” daughters, sisters, and their mothers. What happens to the sister who obeys? What if a daughter refuses her inheritance? Can she? What sanctuary and what limits do worship and domesticity provide? Gorham adopts several lyric forms—‘morality tales,’ ironic prayers, scaled-down sonnets, sharp meditations on concepts such as envy, detachment, and immortality—to show that the self as forged by generations of women and girls is both subversive and enduring.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

In her fourth collection, Gorham (The Cure) writes about life-changing events (the birth of a daughter) as well as ordinary ones (lost mittens) in language both musical and precise. ... Throughout, Gorham leaps among subjects, her unexpected trajectories reminiscent of Emily Dickinson’s work. A wonderful collection, not to be missed, that offers both serious and humorous insights into the human condition.—Library Journal

“…Sarah Gorham’s most powerful and eloquent book yet, a sequence of sustained poetic reckonings upon the demands, despairs, and delights of family—both past and present—and the revelations that emerge in the course of the well-lived life.”David St. John

“Gorham’s poems are remarkable for their sureness of touch, their fine economies, their penetrating aptitude for surprise…”Linda Gregerson

From the Book:


In the dim before, I saw a colt
edge towards the road. My body clamor
was like that steely road forbidding,
no, bidding her home.

Hands about were powdered
beneath their gloves though mine
were sweating the turn, blind turn
to carry her home.

I held my tongue while others
placed their bets, too much
of me already committed
to call this fun. And then, god bless,

the bright occurrence: our colt
cast out one hoof and then
all four. The gates flew open;
she galloped home.

Award winning poet SARAH GORHAM has published three previous collections. She is the director of Sarabande Books in Louisville.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:01:09 -0500