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Hourglass Museum Paperback – February 11, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: White Pine Press (February 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935210513
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935210511
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The poems in Hourglass Museum may be triggered by visual art and artists, but they read as Kelli Russell Agodon's very personal struggle with making poetry and living with the consequences--artistic, social, emotional. It's an intelligently conceived and moving collection, and the greatest pleasure of all is the line-by-line revelation of the poems, which are always lively, witty (even when they are sad), surprising, musical, addictive. Reading these poems is a joy.
 
~ Kathleen Flenniken, Washington State Poet Laureate 

From the Author

The poems in Hourglass Museum explore living life with an undeniable yearning to create. 
I tried to create a reckoning throughout the book, a balancing of the scales between art and life. Many of the poems in this manuscript rely on art--famous and otherwise--to explore relationships and to help interpret life and the world around us. I am interested in how art influences us and how images and interactions with art can carry us from one place to another, such as seeing a painting of a fig tree then having it bring back a memory of one's childhood home. 
 
In this book, I tried to created a paper museum.  The book is divided into different exhibits from portraits to a sketchbook of nudes. I allowed art from artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, Joseph Cornell, Andy Warhol, and Beauford Delaney to influence my writing.  Sometimes I find myself feeling almost overwhelmed with the beauty created by others and this book reflects that as well as the vulnerability (and sometimes unbalance) we may feel while living as artists in the world.

More About the Author

Kelli Russell Agodon is a prize-winning poet, writer, and editor from the Northwest.

Her most recent books are The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice, which she coauthored with poet Martha Silano, and Hourglass Museum, her third collection of poems from White Pine Press.

Kelli is also the author of Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room (winner of the White Pine Press Poetry Prize) was chosen by ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year in Poetry and was a Finalist in the Washington State Book of the Year Awards, Small Knots (2004), Geography, winner of the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award, and edited Fire On Her Tongue: An Anthology of Contemporary Women's Poetry with Annette Spaulding-Convy.

Kelli was born and raised in Seattle and educated at the University of Washington and Pacific Lutheran University's Rainier Writing Workshop where she received her MFA in creative writing.

She was the editor of the literary journal, Crab Creek Review for the last six years and is the co-founder of Two Sylvias Press. Currently, she lives in the Northwest with her family, where she is an avid mountain biker, paddleboarder, and hiker.

Visit her webpage at: www.agodon.com or stay in touch with her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/agodon

Customer Reviews

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Worth every minute, every hour, reading.
Cheryl Waitkevich
The poems take me in and I love how she transforms her world with art.
nightreader
She has brought her imagery to a new level in this book.
T. Persun

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kelley Henry on February 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In Hourglass Museum, Agodon chronicles and articulates the struggle artists live--How does one live an authentically creative life and be a wife/mother/wage earner? (Husband/father can be substituted.) Not readily apparent in that question are all the bigger, harder questions embedded in it:

Is being creative a luxury? Does creativity matter? What if it doesn't amount to anything? Was it worth what was sacrificed for it? Is one selfish for taking time away from other things to create? (Other MORE IMPORTANT things is what is often said/implied/felt.)

Agodon addresses these questions and more in Hourglass Museum and does so in the most deft investigations of the ways in which artists give themselves to others, and more importantly, the ways they give themselves permission (or not) to lead productive, fulfilling creative lives. These investigations are explored in poems that are a tour of delight in perception and language.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Justin Evans on February 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The poetry in Hourglass Museum is worth ten times what you will pay for it. There are so many wonderful metaphors in this book I hesitate to share them with you because each is so masterfully woven into the very fabric of the book I would be quoting pages at a time. You deserve to read the book in its entirety. Hourglass Museum is the first book of poems in quite a while that makes me want to tell all my friends about it, even if they already own a copy. Kelli Russell Agodon has proven yet again how devoted she is to the art of poetry and how integral it is to her life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blythe025 on May 14, 2014
Format: Paperback
Agodon's poetry explores a variety of themes within Hourglass Museum. As the title suggests, art is an important source of inspiration here (as can also be seen in the long list of notes at the end of the book), with poems referencing great artists such as Frida Kahlo and Andy Warhol. The idea of preservation, via canvass, poem, or as a collection in a museum, of moments captured and held in stasis through artifice and creation are a constant in these poems.

Lovely work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Persun on April 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
I've read every one of Kelli's poetry books, and have to say this one stands out. She has brought her imagery to a new level in this book. The poems are grouped perfectly, and lead the reader deeper into the museum and deeper into a world only Kelli could create. Some of my favorites include "Taboo Against Mourning"; "Daringly Balanced: The Life of an Artist"; and "Dune Primrose". There were times I felt as though I were in a museum watching these pieces play out in front of me. The thought that poems like these take is great, and I, for one, am grateful for their occurrence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Miscolta on April 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There’s much to admire about Hourglass Museum, but here’s what I loved most: Kelli Russell Agodon is just charmingly and elegantly clever with words. Hers is not the look-at-me, jokey kind of cleverness, but the kind that emerges seemingly without effort to stun you with its grace and aptness. I read these lines over and over from the poem “Drowning Girl: A Waterlogged Ars Poetica” to savor their sound and substance.

There’s no dessert in the picnic basket/so I swallow time. My mouth full/of hands and numbers. I ask for seconds.

Agodon manages to achieve a playfulness while pulling you under to the poem’s depths. Throughout the book, she mixes melancholy with cheekiness, longing with mock (and, sometimes, real) rebellion.

The book opens with an epigraph by Anais Nin: Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. There are in these poems, many references to escape. There is mention of exits and entrances, doorways and windows and where they might lead: museums, an unlocked cage, a church, or in “Death of a Housewife, Oil on Linen” an entirely new existence: …what she wanted/was to tango with another or a key/to unlock the front door and waltz/herself into another life.

Agodon also considers how our veneration for our heroes can both inspire and shrink us. In “Frida Kahlo Tattoo,” she writes: I wear a temporary tattoo/of Frida Kahlo believing/I can change the world/and if not the world/then a lightbulb, the channel…

Many of the poems are inspired by paintings, and the reader can almost imagine the poems themselves framed and hanging in a museum. The book has four parts, each dealing with an aspect of work in an exhibition, rendering in words the quirky, keen depths of the poet’s vision. In her prologue poem, Agodon invites the reader to …look up and see the madness/organized in the stars.
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