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Fort Red Border: Poems Paperback – August 1, 2009

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The sharp, witty sequences in Petrosino's debut reveal a poet who has more fun with language, and who shows more range, than most. The titular series, whose moniker uses the same letters as Robert Redford, describes an imaginary affair with him, highlighting their differences in taste, in status, in race: I gather my afro into a plain elastic hoop... Redford's face goes coltish & aware. Petrosino has more to say about lust and romance and social class than Redford's celebrity. Other series put more pressure on the sounds of words, in the propulsive sentences of her prose poems or in irregularly rhymed short lines: The field saint in my skin/ who rakes:// I balm. I slake. Ten poems all called Valentine include kiss-offs, come-hithers and advice: Ordering food/ is really ordering some of the food... But:/ You can't order some of the love. Drawing on popular culture, invoking sex often and flirting, or trying to shock, Petrosino rings some of the same bells as Frederick Seidel. But she repeats herself a lot less often, and her jokes are her own generation's: Who would win, Jack White or Jack Black? Her poems should attract anybody who wants to find out. (Aug.)
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The age-old predicament of loneliness is crucial to the flavor of these poems, which use humor as a conduit to remarkably tender moments. What is perhaps most exciting about this succulent collection is that it clearly comes from a person enjoying herself. . . . As readers, we can feel grateful that Petrosino is somewhere in Iowa, doggedly building bridges with her distinctive brand of paper “Valentine”.
American Poet

The wound at the center of Kiki Petrosino’s remarkable debut is the gap between the dished-out givens of reality and the words and worlds we “customize” out of desire.Each of the book’s three sections dramatizes how even in our high-flying fantasy lives, the ordinariness of the natural reasserts itself as a source of both limitation, and, paradoxically, extraordinary beauty.
—David Gorin, The Believer

Meditating on race and love, Kiki Petrosino’s Fort Red Border is a savvy, linguistically nimble, often humorous collection that uses humor’s candor to do interesting investigative work into the pressures society exerts on one’s private life. . . . Though the sinister is always lurking behind her play, threatening the lightness of her candor and humor, it fails to win out in these poems.
—Haines Eason, American Book Review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Sarabande Books; 1 edition (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932511741
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932511741
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 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: #1,272,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Poems are naturally dialogues, and knowing the target gives them extra meaning and subtext. "Fort Red Border" is a collection of poetry from Kiki Petrosino, taking a unique path in the body of her work. Posing a conversation between the poet and icon Robert Redford, she presents intriguing stories and verse that have a flavor all their own. "Fort Red Border" is a fine and original book of poetry, highly recommended. "Virginia": Beneath a tender flitch of skin, the grease/ants make & traffic./O brown fliskmahoy/of speed./O limit case./Why linger/at this roadside?/Why stretch your bloody ankles/into the sun's mouth?/Here, the redstern filaree/spins her basal rosette - your broken hands/catch down in tangles. But don't you smell the wild/bergamo? The tarnished wheel of knapweed/at your crown? How the dirt is rasping/O my trackside love, my age--
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