One Hundred Hungers

Lauren Camp. Tupelo, $16.95 trade paper (102p) ISBN 978-1-936797-72-1
In her third collection, Camp (The Dailiness) looks closely at moments from the life of an Arab-American girl and her Jewish-Iraqi parent. With a delicate hand, she renders gustatory details of gatherings and the kitchen that present an engaging blend of those cultures that were once harmonious in the Baghdad of a father's past, which is very different from his daughter's childhood in America. Most of the book functions on long lines and short prose poems, but there is also some play with the stanzas, poetic form, and the line that avoid the tedium of one repeating imprint on white space. There are smaller surprises that intertwine with this larger narrative; as this migration story unfolds, the daughter's burgeoning sexuality and the predatory dangers that come with it emerge in some of this book's best poems, as "Her world entered nimble eternities." Between the daughter's and the father's stories, the ideas of loss and forgetting become more evident with each poem. In "Why Dad Doesn't Pay Attention to Iraq Anymore," one of the collection's more distinct poems, Camp writes, "The longest griefs are those we never look at." Camp distills grief, loss, and transition, each becoming a kind of theft, and the poems strive to reclaim and recover what can be salvaged. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
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