Our Andromeda

Copper Canyon. Sept. 2012. c.96p. ISBN 9781556594106. pap. $16. POETRY
Until recently, Shaughnessy seemed to appear every few years and sing something really wonderful, only to vanish without warning. Following the 1999 release of her critically acclaimed Interior with Sudden Joy, Shaughnessy didn't release a second volume until 2008 (Human Dark with Sugar, a James Laughlin Award winner). The wait for a third volume was blessedly shorter. This newest collection focuses largely upon the complications that accompanied the birth of her son, to whom this book is dedicated. The narrator's tone is decidedly conversational as she addresses an older version of her son, giving the book a message-in-a-bottle quality. While complex, this book is at times a bit uneven. But just as you're about to write her off, Shaughnessy feeds you a poem that redeems the shortcomings of the others, and the strong title piece, which closes the book, is the poem Shaughnessy should someday read to her son.
VERDICT This book will appeal to readers interested in themes of trauma and childbirth and would be a worthwhile addition to most library collections.
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