Weapons Grade

Terese Svoboda, Author . Univ. of Arkansas $16 (96p) ISBN 978-1-55728-906-3

Svoboda's fifth collection of poems walks the borders where the personal and the political meet, and where ironic humor and foreboding overlap. Her contemporary America is both “finger-licking digital,” and a place where there are “soldiers in mother's hair.” In this book's first section, war is everywhere, from a lab in Tokyo where AIDS-infected blood was used for transfusions to “the cavities of your body.” Section two takes up notions of mistranslations, misunderstandings and missed opportunities: in one poem, “a man walks into a bra”; in another a son asks of a missing father, “Is he back or forth?” The final section takes up more personal subjects, as in a poem titled “To My Brother, on the Occasion of His Second Breakdown.” Throughout, Svoboda's poems are as haunting as they are funny, as pleasurable as they are powerful. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/17/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
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