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Seven Floors Up Paperback – June 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 66 pages
  • Publisher: Mayapple Press (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 093241267X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932412676
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 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: #5,760,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

As in some paranoic dream, in Cati Porter's powerful debut collection, "everything's a sign"--the scrabble tiles spelling out clandestine family tensions, the glazed eyes of porcelain lobsterware revealing her craftsman grandfather, the dictionary definitions of "mum" defining cycles of sexual violence and enforced silence. Through E-Bay ads for an inflatable church, labels stuck to her preschool son's jeans, instructions for preconception gender selection, and childhood games, Porter names herself into the world with lyrical irony in poem after hilariously tragic poem. Follow her through the "bourbon-hinged jangling dancing open door" seven floors up to visit the kitchen of the soul. There are madwomen in that attic, but the booze is good, and they really know how to cook. --Tony Barnstone

In Seven Floors Up you will find a complicated and gifted poet, Cati Porter, whose art is filled not only with heart and mind--but also with the body in its varied and rich incarnations. Here's a poet speaking as wife, lover, mother, daughter, woman, artist and thinker, whose grateful, and still often rueful, poems remind us that it's in our messy everyday entanglements, in our obligations and aspirations, amidst our fears and demons that we forge meaning. But don't be fooled. Although these are the poems of a young wife and mother Porter has range. She can write "Marriage as a Board Game" and "Elegy for My Mothers (Who Are Not Dead)", and then give us a sharp and insightful poem about an inflatable church available for purchase on eBay. She can write "In My Hand a Photograph Of Where He Is Not" with its compressed picture of loss and shock and then use a children's game ("Mother May I") to document the changing of the generational guard. Porter even turns her wry eye on the opportunities science provides--don't miss "Oogenesis, Or 'Welcome to the Vagina!'." Reading this book, is like being at a party when a truly smart and funny person walks through the door. "Thank goodness she's here," you think, "Now we'll have some fun." --Deborah Bogen

This necessary book comes to us straight from "the kitchen of the soul," where the details of daily life--a sick dog's diet, an inflatable church up for bidding on eBay--are transformed from the domestic into the mythic. Cati Porter's fascination with language and deeply-felt passion are seasoned with a welcome humor that makes this book a joy to read. Admirable in its range--whether pantoum, sestina, abecedarium, or deft free verse--and penetrating in its wisdom, Seven Floors Up is a collection to be treasured. --Beth Ann Fennelly

About the Author

Cati Porter is founder and editor-in-chief of Poemeleon: A Journal of Poetry (www.poemeleon.org) and associate editor (poetry) for Babel Fruit (www.babelfruit.org), and is the author of a chapbook of prose poems, small fruit songs (Pudding House Publications, 2008).

More About the Author

Cati Porter is a poet, editor, and community arts facilitator. She is founder of Poemeleon: A Journal of Poetry and Inlandia: A Literary Journey, and the author of five collections of poetry: Seven Floors Up (Mayapple Press, 2008), the chapbooks small fruit songs (Pudding House, 2008), (al)most delicious (dancing girl press, 2010), and The Way Things Move The Dark (dancing girl press, 2013) and an e-chapbook, what Desire makes of us (Ahadada Books, 2011) with illustrations by Amy Payne. She lives with her family in California's Inland Empire, where she is the Executive Director of the Inlandia Institute, a regionally-focused literary nonprofit.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Editor of Poemeleon and author of several chapbooks, including (al)most delicious (Dancing Girl Press, 2010), Cati Porter's full length collection Seven Floors Up (Mayapple Press) is a wonderful book with a strong narrative arc that probes the emotional depths of motherhood, family, and loss.

Some poems in Seven Floors Up explore and experiment with received forms like the pantoum ("Crazed Collection") and the sestina ("What She Finds"), while others scrabble with gender roles and expectation like "Marriage as a Board Game" or the messiness of naming in "Drawing the Name." Porter attends to the complexity and mercurial nature of language in her long poem "mum" by examining various definitions of words as a way probe perspectives on care and the insidious side of silence. She writes, "It's not like it doesn't happen all the time."

Like her new collection (al)most delicious--a delicious back and forth play of the desiring eye, the subject and object, the self learning to see the self as something worth admiring/desiring--a handful of poems in Seven Floors Up also touch up desire and the fumbling we all make towards love.
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