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The Local World (Wick Poetry First Book) Paperback – September 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: Wick Poetry First Book (Book 17)
  • Paperback: 61 pages
  • Publisher: Kent State Univ Pr (September 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606351052
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606351055
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,089,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"With an alertly startling intelligence, fullness of feeling, and supple voice, Mira Rosenthal travels the selvage-borders of being. These poems make a path between foreign and familial; between post-modern modes of knowing and a story-teller's narrative comprehensions; between fidelity to the outer world's registers of creatures, objects, and waters and interior worlds whose beauties are made purely by language. One underlying theme here is continuance in the face of pain; another is the dual-poled magnet of agency and observation; a third is the gift of transmutation, of poetry itself: 'a motion, / churning the simple milk of life to the butter / churned milk and salt eventually become.'" --Jane Hirshfield

"The poems in this stark collection feel as if they have arrived just after casting off emotional ballast. A burden has been carried from the familiar world, and over time and distance, that load has been dispersed. And now the poet returns, halfway between grief and transcendence, but in that dark return lies hope." --Maurice Manning

"In Mira Rosenthal's stunning debut collection, The Local World, memory is not a static screen for nostalgia but a fierce journey into the self where danger resides. These beautifully crafted poems work through a series of brilliant tropes, a tissue pattern resting over a piece of cloth, a knife cutting from the inside, a boy shadow-boxing with himself, a sunflower 'like the mask of ship rising tall.' Rosenthal is both a traveler and a thinker. Her poems, elegant marvels, dramatize her personal struggle to understand and transform the past. This is a dynamic book, one to read and reread." --Maura Stanton

About the Author

Mira Rosenthal's poetry has appeared widely in journals, including Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, Notre Dame Review, West Branch, and Slate. Her translations of Polish poetry have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and Zephyr Press has published her translations of The Forgotten Keys and Colonies by Tomasz Rozycki. She has received grants from the NEA, the PEN American Center, ACLS, and the Fulbright Commission, as well as fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, the Banff Center, and elsewhere. She is also the founding editor of Lyric Poetry Review. After graduating from Reed College, she earned an M.F.A. from the University of Houston and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. She is a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University.

More About the Author

Mira Rosenthal (born 1974) is an American poet and translator. Raised in Northern California, she received her M.F.A. from the University of Houston and her Ph.D. from Indiana University. Rosenthal is a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Among her awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN American Center, the MacDowell Colony, and the American Council of Learned Societies. While on a Fulbright Fellowship to Poland, she discovered her passion for translating contemporary Polish poetry. Her poems, translations, and essays have been published in many literary journals and anthologies, including Ploughshares, the American Poetry Review, Slate, A Public Space, and Mentor and Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PF on June 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
In her kaleidoscopic Wick Poetry Prize-winning collection, Mira Rosenthal invites us to come along on a journey towards self-definition. Much of the ensuing excavating ("in the dark with your eyes on sight") sends the poet out on the road to India, Nicaragua, and Poland, among others, where the luxury of being a foreigner enables her to illuminate her family's past. This idea of hovering between here and there also applies to how the carnal fabric of our lives obscures our sense of belonging to a particular place and time. Indeed, many of these poems tap into the poet's wish to domesticate her wandering body and mind, especially since a glimpse of the larger world sends the poet back to grapple with her own self, where the gasping for air leads to metaphorical self-mutilation ("I will live / by cutting myself out from the inside"). Thus, the titular local world is an amalgam of the worldly and the domestic, the internal and the external, all of which are in turn hostile and hospitable to the poet full of "desire to name the world." This is one reason why the collection juxtaposes narrative poems with long-lined meditations, while it also relies to an extent on Dorothea Lange's series of photographs, Death of a Valley, which document the destruction of California's Berryessa Valley. Without these various ingredients, Rosenthal's collection would've been yet another example of poetic navel-gazing. Instead, we are gifted with poems whose surgically-precise language uncovers how "history multiplies / your little life away," and why this poet, who's like "the grass [that] grew long enough to check the toolshed for a blade," is here to stay.
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By Lennerd on April 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just great poetic imagery, use of language, music of the spoken word, with an international, global perspective. If you like well-crafted poetry, you'll like this book.
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