Glass Armonica: Poems (Paperback)
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An "exquisitely crafted" third collection of poems, this winner of the second-annual Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry offers a "prismatic portrait of the female body in the act of being touched" (G.C. Waldrep) The 18th-century glass armonica, a musical instrument whose sound emits from rotating water-filled vessels, has long held the power to mesmerize with its hauntingly sorrowful tones. Just as its song, which was once thought to induce insanity, wraps itself in and around the mind, Rebecca Dunham probes the depths of human psyche, inhabiting the voices of historical female "hysterics" and inciting in readers a tranquil unease. These are poems spoken through and for the melancholic, the hysteric, the body dysmorphic -- from Mary Glover to Lavinia Dickinson to Freud's famed patient, Dora. And like expert hands placed gently on the armonica's rotating disks, Dunham offers unsettling depictions of uninvited human contact -- of hands laid upon the female body, of touch at times unwanted, and ultimately unspeakable from behind the hysteric's "locked jaws." Winner of the 2013 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, Dunham's stunning third collection is "lush yet septic" (G.C. Waldrep), at once beautiful and unnerving.
About the Author
Rebecca Dunham was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and has earned degrees from the University of Virginia, Hollins University, George Mason University, and the University of Missouri. She is the author of two collections of poetry, The Miniature Room and The Flight Cage. Dunham was the Jay C. and Ruth Halls Fellow in Poetry at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Her poems have appeared widely in journals such as The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, AGNI, Colorado Review, FIELD, Crab Orchard Review, TriQuarterly, and The Antioch Review. She is a professor in the doctoral creative writing program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and lives in Bayside, WI.