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Flinch of Song Paperback – November 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Tupelo Press; First Edition edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932195769
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932195767
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 8.9 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: #1,066,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


. . . Flinch of Song by Jennifer Militello from which, were it permissible, I would quote every word of every line of every page. Absolutely drenched in metaphor, simile, allusion and linguistic invention, tightly written without a word let waste its clout, and, quite frankly, dense with spell-binding beauty, Militello's work is also a poetry of loss, though . . . not of the physical, but of lovers, of childhood, of family, of identity, of the mind, and of the weight and revelations of the freedom that results from those losses. Parts of the human body are absorbed into elements from nature, voices take on the sounds of rural and marine equivalences, snatches of urbanism reflect the flow of Life and all its struggles and heartbreaks.

Without a trace of doubt, Militello is a truly worthy winner of the Tupelo Press / Crazyhorse First Book Award. The judging panel have, in this instance, got it spot on. What they have recognised is her sheer talent and, with their award, have hopefully given her the self-belief to continue to develop from a starting point that is already streets ahead of so many of her contemporaries.

And, with such talent spread before me, I find it difficult to resist sharing more of it with you, in essence to allow it to speak, as it does so eloquently, for itself. As I said, were it permissible . . . every word, every line, every page. But, with this option clearly and sadly not open to me, and knowing the following extracts will not suffice beyond being the most inadequate of tasters, I can only suggest . . . no, demand that you go and get hold of a copy before they're all gone. Don't think you'll be getting mine it will not be appearing on Amazon Marketplace. --John Mingay, Stride UK

About the Author

Author of the chapbook Anchor Chain, Open Sail (Finishing Line Press, 2006) and widely published in journals, including DENVER QUARTERLY, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The North American Review, The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, Verse, and The Virginia Quarterly Review, Jennifer Militello has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Writers at Work, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She lives in New Hampshire and teaches at River Valley Community College. Jennifer Militello was named a finalist for the Poetry Society of America's 2010 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matthew D. Jasper on September 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read a few of these poems in magazines I liked so ordered the book and was surprised at the odd and beautiful language. Though the author has many admirers, I think some may have a hard time following associative leaps such as those that drive her to eat from a dish of camphor or write lines such as "the world is the jawbone of where we cannot go." Yet if one is open to the larger context, a sense of what it all adds up to becomes clear. A fragmented and painful world is palpable on every page, yet the author is at work trying to strike a balance between life and loss, between individual identity and surroundings densely populated by beloved and feared creatures, things, voices, and of course an occasional jawbone. I'd compare many of the poems here to a My Bloody Valentine song in that one needs to pay more attention to mood and feel than how clearly one understands the words at first. The words are carefully stacked (as in my review's title or other almost random quotes I'll add here: "Things we might not notice/are multiplying among their cinders" ; "There wasn't a day/ to light darkness by." ; "..../pain, an anvil for beating mere mongrels/ into elegant beasts. Too late,/ the soft unlathing, the not-yet grief/...")

Unlathing? Yes. The perfect word there even if it seems to be a neologism.

The discoveries made here "as one comes apart" are hard-earned and balanced with insights that attempt to ("Place the half that has not been broken/ against the half that has.") help us reassemble ourselves after forays into a jumbled world "that is always speaking.
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