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Brenda Is in the Room and Other Poems (Colorado Prize for Poetry) Paperback – January 15, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Colorado Prize for Poetry
  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Center for Literary Publishing (January 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885635109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885635105
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,860,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This first book, winner of the 2007 Colorado Prize for Poetry, has the plainspokenness and unguarded candor about writing and ambition more often found in a later book by an established poet—think Robert Creeley. As such, it shows a rarer thing: a young poet in thrall to the promise of being a poet and taking that as his topic. Teicher, an associate editor at PW, quotes E.M. Cioran—one does not write because one has something to say but because one wants to say something—and, in these 22 poems, he seeks his voice (Inaudible voice, silent voice /voice of my head), analyzing who he is hearing: a father, a mother, the voices of other poets—A.R. Ammons and William Bronk among them. Ammons, in fact, is unabashedly imitated in the leisurely 40-page Poem to Read at My Wedding, while Bronk's as if formulations drive several of these poems: As if// a thing lost or forgotten, discarded,/ fled, written down and revised, revisited/ were a cure for dead dogs.... Teicher puts his faith in the hypothetical as if, as if being in love with poetry made poetry, as if being in love made love. The book's title poem conflates these two—poetry and love: the room in which the poet's wife, Brenda, roams and works is also the stanza, which itself means room. Part of the charm here is how poetry and love are not suffered ironically, but gathered and won, As if the answer is flowers—a surprisingly sage observation for this young poet who indeed has something to say. (Jan.)
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Review

"This first book ...has the plainspokenness and unguarded candor about writing and ambition more often found in a later book by an established poet - think Robert Creeley....Teicher puts his faith in the hypothetical 'as if,' as if being in love with poetry made poetry, as if being in love made love....Part of the charm here is how poetry and love are not suffered ironically, but gathered and won, 'As if the answer is flowers ' - a surprisingly sage observation for this young poet who indeed has something to say."
Publishers Weekly, starred review


"Brenda Is in the Room and Other Poems is a beautiful and original work that appears to be, on first impression, a light-hearted and amusingly self-conscious account of daily life. Brenda (the author's then fiancée, now wife) is indeed in the room. Because she and the world are loved, the everyday is lyrically charged: 'therefore allow me to look / out into a world about which / I have something to say: / were I able to see it all - how / the trees really smell, how the wind actually blows .../ I think / my mouth would be too full / to speak.' ...As soon as I had read the book, I wanted immediately to read it again, for its pebble that is also a planet; for its one-celled organism that, to regenerate the world, 'sings the world's last song.'"
—Paul Hoover, author of Poems in Spanish and Edge and Fold


"[M]any poems engage the imagination and do what great poetry should: remind us that our mundane lives, and the mere fact of language, are utterly strange and magical."
—Marit MacArthur, The Bloomsbury Review

More About the Author

Craig Morgan Teicher is a poet, critic, and freelance writer. His first book of poems, Brenda Is In The Room And Other Poems, was chosen by Paul Hoover as winner of the 2007 Colorado Prize for Poetry and was published by the Center for Literary Publishing. His collection of short stories and fables, called Cradle Book, was published in spring 2010 by BOA Editions Ltd. His next book, To Keep Love Blurry: Poems, will be published by BOA in September 2012.

His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many publications, including The New Yorker, The Nation, The Best American Poetry 2009, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, A Public Space, Jubilat, Seneca Review, Forklift Ohio, Octopus, La Petit Zine, Fairy Tale Review, Verse, and Colorado Review. His reviews of poetry and fiction, and profiles of poets, appear widely in places like NPR.org, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Poets & Writers, Poets.org, Time Out New York, Boston Review and Bookforum.

He is Director of Digital Operations and Poetry Reviews Editor of Publishers Weekly, a poetry editor of The Literary Review, a contributing editor of Pleiades, and a Vice President of the National Book Critics Circle. He also teaches at The New School and New York University and lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and children.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jillian Weise on February 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
Teicher's book is exciting to read. We have "Eye Contact" where "the answer is lonely." We have "One to Another: A Creation Myth" in 13 sections with boy, samurai, & clown, & "Why is your mouth so weird?" We have "Ten Movies & Books" which slayed me when it came out in La Petite Zine (preview it there if Amazon won't let you see it here) because of its keen use of lyric via staggered tercets and its bangin' close. We have an epic "Poem to Read at My Wedding" which doubles as an homage to Ammons, & triples as an Ars Poetica ("It's getting a bit long / for a wedding poem, / isn't it?") Go on, pony up & purchase.
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