Rebecca Morgan Frank’s poems have appeared in Blackbird, The Georgia Review, Guernica, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Best New Poets 2008, and elsewhere, and she was awarded the Poetry Society of America’s 2010 Alice Fay di Castagnola Award. She is co-founder and editor of the online magazine Memorious. (Author photo by Mara Brod)
This lyrical chorus of elegies tracks a contemporary city dweller’s observations of a decaying world ripe with miscommunications and the pecadillos and pitfalls of interpersonal relationships. Through wry laments for love lost, addresses to imagined ghostly figures ranging from Edna St Vincent Millay to a local carnival act who drives nails into his face, and a series of contemporary sonnets for every day “sins” such as gossip, bossiness, and lying, the central speaker grapples with the physical demise of the natural and manmade world and the threat of a more personal and permanent loss.
"Rebecca Morgan Frank's arresting and unflinching poems show what can still be done with the bittersweet stuff of longing that gave the art of the lyric its original reason for being. Everywhere she turns her rapt attention—pensive elegies and laments, gnomic riffs on things lost and found in the naked city, limber sonnets on nettling sins of the spirit and the flesh—she's in her element, taking the measure of desire in language honed to a glittering edge. "Go ahead, reinvent the wheel," one mordant poem here begins, and so she does, daring you to see another soul at the white heat with a mind and music all her own."
"The elegant formal variations in these poems, the structuring alliterations, the density and precision of the figurative imagination would almost suffice on their own but, wonderfully, they have no need to do so. They add up, as in all true poetry, to a way of seeing."
Salmon Poetry / Dufour Editions