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The Real Warnings Paperback – October 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 94 pages
  • Publisher: Anhinga Press; 1st edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934695114
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934695111
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,916,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


What a range of feeling Rhett Iseman Trull captures in The Real Warnings! With a dramatist's sense of story and an actor's skill in timing, she gives us everything from adolescent confusion to strung-out loneliness, from the emptiness of unrequited love to the joy of fulfillment, from the celebration of new birth to sorrow for departures. Her foreknowledge is powerfully unsettling, while her respect for the present detail is reverent: 'What I can't say, the tipped-over shopping cart outside Wal-Mart / says for me. Here is a brilliant, caring, and telling new voice. They don't come all that often and never better than this one. --Fred Chappell

Open this book up anywhere and you'll find a poem of fierce and uncompromising energy and insight, a poem that doesn' t pull any punches or take any prisoners, a poem that will both stun and uplift, even as it wounds and sometimes descends into darkness. I've never read a poet who understands more fully the brutal paradoxes of love and of loving damaged things, nor have I ever read one whose epiphanies felt truer. Even more than the real warnings, this collection represents the real thing and you'll be changed by reading it. --Sheryl St. Germain

About the Author

Rhett Iseman Trull's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Best New Poets 2008, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, and other publications. Her awards include prizes from the Academy of American Poets and the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation. She received her B.A. from Duke University and her M.F.A from University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where she was a Randall Jarrell fellow. She and her husband publish Cave Wall in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott Owens on August 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Real Warnings, by Rhett Iseman Trull
Anhinga Press, 2008, 84 pages, $15
ISBN 9781934695111

I want Rhett Iseman Trull's book of poems The Real Warnings to have the subtitle "Taking Chances Because What Else Is There" because that is the message of these poems. Presented as one part apology, one part tribute to love and parenting, and all parts acknowledgement of the difficulty of choosing to take risks and the impossibility of choosing not to, The Real Warnings provides vital testimony to the importance of fortitude, persistence, and faith in humanity and oneself.

The opening poem (one of the best) of the collection presents this perspective summarily. The speaker "warns" her parents, "You will burn yourselves on me," and admonishes "Forget about sleeping / I'll dominate the prayers you keep sending up . . . . / For every greeting card poem, I will write four / to hurt you. Some will be true." But she advises prophetically, "You will take one look at that new life screaming / into the world, and open your arms." As a new parent, myself, I have no difficulty identifying with this course of emotions.

"The Last Good Dream" presents another image of our willingness to take risks, this time in regards to love,
. . . we give
with unthinned hearts, little knowing
how even if banked by the best words

and buoyed by honesty, love can fail.
Or maybe we do know
and unharbor ourselves anyway.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Rhett Iseman Trull's The Real Warnings is one of the best books I've ever read. Note that I didn't say "poetry book." It's good enough to transcend genre. Sometimes you come across a book that is so good in so many directions that it makes you want to break all the writing implements in your house, and this book was like that for me. For a solid month after reading this book, anything I wanted to write, I felt like she had already written it better. I finally gave up and switched to fiction. These are approachable poems, everyman poems, the kind of poems that people who don't like poetry but like Dylan and Springsteen would enjoy. Trull opens her heart and pours her soul out over every page, and the work that flows out is truly amazing. And it's even better read live than on the page. I don't get the "Amazon Verified Purchase" seal because I bought my copy at a live reading, and I actually kinda feel bad for people who can't get to a reading of her work, because watching her read live really brings the book to life in a very special way.

Quit reading my drivel and buy the book already!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on December 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These are the best poems I've ever read. I'm a huge fan of poetry, and I can honestly say with all humility, Trulls', "The Real Warnings" is an amazing collection of some of the finest work I've ever read.

I would highly recommend this collection to my friends and family -- as a matter of fact, I've already done that. I've loaned the book to several people who have also enjoyed the poetry.

I would give this poetry book 10 stars! It was THAT good.
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