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I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl: Poems (Kathryn a. Morton Prize in Poetry) Paperback – November 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Kathryn a. Morton Prize in Poetry
  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Sarabande Books; 1 edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932511768
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932511765
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #984,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lurid, dominated by teen antiheroes, with plenty of underage sex amid a 21st-century Southern gothic atmosphere, McGlynn's debut is at its best vivid, disturbing and fun. Despite hints and feints, it has no consistent narrative; instead, it offers scenes, asides, interior monologues, fragments and portrayals of dangerous playmates and sexual awakenings: death & sex tickle the same damn spot, McGlynn warns. One of her clearest and best poems of memory is called God, I Got Down There to Get Off: I'm flat on my belly, hand in my jeans—/ and how to say every penny has become the eye/ of a dead relative watching me? With her adults either inattentive or ill-intentioned, McGlynn's strongest pages remember how she looked up to adventurous peers: Erin with the Feathered Hair, for example, who unpeels my northern pretense,/ leaves me quivering in a glitter tube-top/ as she unlocks the liquor cabinet. Conscious of precursors in popular film, McGlynn may not always avoid cliché. Yet her experiences crackle with life, and her best lines know when to stop, when to set out sexy facts and when to reach for verbal ornament, distinguishing her work from anything merely confessional. (Nov.)
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About the Author

McGlynn earned her BA from Seattle University and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan. She is the author of two chapbooks: Scorpionica (New Michigan Press, 2007) and Alabama Steve (Destructible Heart Press, 2008). Her poems have appeared in Fence, Gulf Coast, Willow Springs, Indiana Review, Denver Quarterly, CutBank and Ninth Letter. She lives in Austin, Texas.

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S. Muench on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl's anthem could be "there is so much I want to prevent" and so the poems run interference between the living and the dead, and like the multi-faced, clairvoyant speaker who is both breathing and buried, so McGlynn's poetic eyes are split: one serving as photographer, while the other acts as profiler, so that we are witness to what occurs within, and beyond, the frame. Working in a lyrical investigative mode, often using a columnar fragmentation, in which the work appears as vertical belts along the page, the poems are concurrently singular and dialogical.

For McGlynn, every innocuous object has an ominous counterpoint--the bed as operating table; a farmhouse for egg production as killing site; panties as childhood emblem and crime-scene evidence; exposure as photographic process and life-threatening condition. These poems, ravenous and ravishing, debone everything in sight, and what a sight it is--a rose hung on a hook like rapist bait; water so moss-viscous it appears as Prell; radioactive fish; piss in a glass; and Christmas crèche. While her book documents various defacements and violations, ultimately the work highlights volition and reconstruction. McGlynn's book exhibits such spark and voracity it feels channeled instead of penned; and though it may knock us slant into the pitch, it is lit with luminol, liberating what is hidden, and in the process, illuminating and transforming us.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Karina McGlynn, <strong>I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl</strong> (Sarabande Books, 2009)

"I wake up somewhere in Ohio. Or, that's how it smells--"

While much is made of the first sentences of novels, no one really thinks all that much about first lines in a book of poetry. Maybe because a book of poetry is a collection, rather than a single work, in many cases. (And I bet half of you who can recite a single first line of a poem can do it from a book-length work, either Inferno, Paradise Lost, or Canterbury Tales. The rest of you... a Shakespeare sonnet. But you are in the way of my point, so clam up for the next four minutes, please.) But the first line of Karina McGlynn's <em>I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl</em> is such a slap in the face you can't help but think "here is someone who thought about it." Which is pretty awesome. And so's the rest of the book. The poem that supplies us that wonderful first line continues...

"There's a phone in my hand, I'm thirty years old.
No, the phone's thirty years old. Its memory's been erased.

I'm naked but for one of those hollowed scarves.
It keeps peeling off like a seedpod.

I'm afraid my sense will fall out,
get lost in the snow and make more of me."
("Ok, but you haven't seen the last of me")

...and you know, I could spend the rest of this review quoting that poem and this book would sell itself, because it's that good. Someone (can't remember who, book's back at the library) blurbed it as being <em>noir</em>, and I can see where she's coming from.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Haney on February 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
McGlynn, known for her witty and outrageous slams, has made the successful transition to a 'formal' poet with a moving and overall fantastic piece. Recommended
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso' on January 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Lacks the wit/drive/structure of Alabama Steve from aptly named Destructible Heart (not on Amazon). I read 'He's just having a little altitude earache' on p36 as 'attitude earache', which might have been preferable. The Revenant (relevant?) poems are best. I shall retain (I hope) the image of the protagonist having trouble 'forming the word "bouche" while drunk'. I guess we've all been there
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I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl: Poems (Kathryn a. Morton Prize in Poetry)
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