Rodent Angel

Debra Weinstein, Author
Debra Weinstein, Author New York University Press $13 (96p) ISBN 978-0-8147-9307-7
Hardcover - 96 pages - 978-0-8147-9308-4
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Winner of the 1995 Mamdouha S. Bobst Poetry Award, this selection of poems, Weinstein's first, is a raw, brutal look at a childhood filled with sexual and physical abuse. In language that is at times lyrical, at times harsh, the poet's vivid, exact images conjure pictures of wrenching violence and betrayal. Much of this material is captured in repeating images of dead rats on urban streets and a child's recollection of a poisoned squirrel whose babies are pulled from their nest in the attic. ""The year of the infestation/ my grandfather exposed/ the metal tooth/ underneath his pants... That summer/ my father buried/ the baby squirrels alive..."" But within Weinstein's dark vision, there is also room for moments of beauty and grace. She chronicles love and betrayal between women and moves into a present in which she awaits the birth of her daughter, the emphasis shifting to a buoyant hope for a redeeming future. (May)
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