Ange Mlinko was born in Philadelphia in 1969. Educated at St. John’s College and Brown University, she has lived most of her adult life in New York, and also spent time in Ifrane, Morocco, and Beirut, Lebanon. Mlinko’s previous books include Matinées, Starred Wire, and Shoulder Season. She has received the Poetry Foundation’s Randall Jarrell Award in Criticism, and is currently teaching in the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. She lives in Houston with her husband and two children. (Author photo by David A. Brown)
Marvelous Things Overheard takes its title from a collection of ancient rumors about the lands of the Mediterranean. Ange Mlinko, who lived at the American University of Beirut and traveled to Greece and Cyprus, has penned poems that seesaw between the life lived in those ancient and strife-torn places, and the life imagined through its literature: from The Greek Anthology to the Mu’allaqat. Throughout, Mlinko grapples with the passage of time on two levels: her own aging (alongside the growing up of her children) and the incontrovertible evidence of millennia of human habitation.
“Here are marvels, mysteries, melancholia; here are New World cicadas, Cypriot potatoes, kiddie boats, the Mediterranean; here is a glorious babble of tongues sung through. Mlinko has a mythy, musical mind. A sensuous intelligence threads us through a glittering word-hoard, its mind-shield. Mlinko writes a sumptuous, surprising, highwire poetry. Its neo-Elizabethan dazzle directs us to the core of our lives as animals of and in language, ‘evolving / only toward more feeling.’ This book is an astonishment.”
—Maureen N. McLane
Farrar, Straus and Giroux