Carson, Anne

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Wrong Norma

Original, erudite, yet straightforwardly written; highly recommended for poetry enthusiasts.

Norma Jeane Baker of Troy

Lest this all sound academic or overly meta, one need not be a student of ancient Greek drama or a pop culture historian to admire Carson’s unique artistry. The poet’s wry, pointed diction and radiant precision (e.g., Truman Capote “had a voice like a negligee, always/ slipping off one bare shoulder, just a bit”) bring Helen/Norma Jeane to vivid life as she attempts to “save [tragedy] from sorrow.”


The sheer assortment of work invites mixed reactions from one piece to another, and the boxed format may present shelving issues, but it's difficult to resist marveling at the range of challenges and rewards presented.

Red Doc>

Narrow-gauge prose poems alternate with strung-together conversation and moody, archaic intervals from the "Wives of Brain," but the real inventiveness is the oddly engaging, oddly distancing story told in fragments that don't want to end in a moral. Not for conventional readers but essential reading for poetry sophisticates.

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