Straight Out of View

Joyce Sutphen, Author
Joyce Sutphen, Author Beacon Press (MA) $12.95 (106p) ISBN 978-0-8070-6825-0
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Hardcover - 106 pages - 978-0-8070-6824-3
Paperback - 106 pages - 978-0-930100-28-5
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Sutphen's first collection, awarded the 1994 Barnard New Women Poets Prize, reveals a poet of place whose assured, straightforward style seems sprung from the Minnesota farmlands where she was raised: melodious language disarmingly combined with a wry practicality towards the business of poetry. Her subject matter, however, extends beyond the homegrown, moving from the sudden disaster of ``Tornado Warning'' to sweeping landscapes of the American West to London, where in gentler tones she confronts Sylvia Plath through the medium of poetry. Sutphen's voice is refreshing in that she examines the everyday without being overtly confessional, often capturing emotion with swift (sometimes too swift) imagistic strokes. Throughout she attends closely to the internal realities of quite ordinary existence: ``It bothered my sense of symmetry to notice how a perfectly/ unplanned life could take on such an intricate pattern.'' (Apr.)
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