Awayward

Jennifer Kronovet, Author, Jean Valentine, Foreword by . BOA $16 (79p) ISBN 978-1-934414-18-7

“Nothing strikes me/ as incredibly 'foreign,' ” says Kronovet in her whimsical, searching debut, selected by Jean Valentine for BOA's A. Poulin Jr. prize. Restlessly obsessed with travel and with awakening to the strangeness of the familiar, what Kronovet means is that, in fact, everything is foreign, which is its least incredible trait; what may be the most common fact on earth is transformed by revitalizing and humorous language: “The earth's humus is made fertile/ through the worm's anus.” In every poem, Kronovet searches “the corners/ of fact” and finds unusual things in plain sight, such as “light that makes the country classically itself,” “the three-wheeled taxi” and “A kind of clean./ The dirty kind.” These free verse lyrics, stacks of narrow couplets, prose poems and poems in two lines (“One way to avoid attention:/ Go. Go. Go. Go. Go”) are at once endearing and deadly serious; in even the slightest of these poems, the stakes are high and surprising. Throughout, Kronovet's playfully earnest speaker is ever approaching and fleeing a beloved, who is at once traveling companion, unexplored country and home, and for whom she says, “I hold softly, I eat sweetly/ try to be to you newly.” (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/16/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 80 pages - 978-1-942683-29-2
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