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Slaves to Do These Things Paperback – November 3, 2009

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About the Author

Amy King is the author of SLAVES TO DO THESE THINGS, I'M THE MAN WHO LOVES YOU, and Antidotes for an Alibi, all from BlazeVOX Books, The People Instruments (Pavement Saw Press Chapbook Award), and forthcoming, I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press). She teaches English and Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College and, with Ana Bozicevic, curates the Brooklyn based reading series, The Stain of Poetry.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 95 pages
  • Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935402315
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935402312
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,498,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Russ Golata on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amy King nails it in the pages of this book. Her style is very playful as she toys with words and leads the reader on an intense journey. I really enjoyed this book and would lable it a must read to all my poetry friends
Slaves to Do These Things
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By Nancy Bevilaqua on February 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The perfectly natural questions "But what is the poem about?" and "What does this mean?" can be both frustrating and very useful to a poet. My own response, over time, has become, "What does it mean to YOU?" My intentions in writing a poem are only part of the equation; I love to hear how people who read it will interpret it based on their own frames of reference (although some people insist on a very clear and literal "meaning", and I'm not always able or willing to provide that). As long as someone who has read one of my poems has (within reason--occasionally someone will come up with a very negative interpretation that has nothing to do with what I meant) been able to make some sort of connection with it, I'm happy. If no one makes any connection whatsoever, then it's clear that I have work to do.

I only mention my own experiences as a poet here because I think that the idea of multiple levels of meaning and the resistance to creating poems that can be interpreted in only one, literal way must be one that Amy King has thought about a great deal. And her solution is one that many--particularly readers who favor tidy, well spelled-out, beginning-middle-end meditations on the vagaries of life--might consider extreme.

OK--it IS extreme. Readers of Ms. King's poems will find no easy answers and no respite, and it's obvious that that's just how she wants it. She is an uncompromising abstract painter with a palette of words, and she knows exactly what she's doing. There is not a single line in any of her poems about which one can say, "Ah, she's talking about...
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ted Burke on January 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Amy King's writing are at once brainy yet coursing with a perceptible sensuality, are among the best of the post-modernist, post-Language, post-confessional style where we have. She is a writer who has surmounted the collective, generation- situated surprise that our native tongue is , in essence, slippery when it comes to addressing our experience and who has gotten on with an interrogation of both the templates one has absorbed from birth and the ones accrued through living long enough to modify one's narrative.

There is no defeatism here, no smallish voice sighing over disappointments , no staccato -cadenced anger replaying old wounds. Amy King comes through these poems not as a survivor nor someone inclined to obscure the bare facts of her life and the reading she brought with her, but rather a poet with a firm grip on the co-agitations of joy and subtler anguish.

The wonder is that there not a place one senses that they've come across someone who thinks it's time to address themselves in a disguised past tense; these are the wonderings, inspections, musings of some one too enthralled with the discussion underway to worry what the final word will be. What hasn't been said yet is nothing to worry about, but to anticipate as a hard-verbed , sexily ironic entree to what one doesn't already know.

King's verse is sharp, witty, moving in ways that are made powerful by the emotional nuance her line breaks contain; there is the sense that everything one knew is wrong, after all, and yet it stands as a reasonably reliable filter through which one may continue their negotiation with the metaphysically inclined whispers--the ghostly reminders objects, places, faces can awake and send a chill down your spine.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Ann Sullivan on January 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Amy King is a poet's poet, highly respected in the contemporary world
of letters. Her latest collection of poems reveals why.

Mistress of a mythic surrealism that is laced at times with bawdy
language, Amy combines images like "moldy dark stools in back room
encounters" with "Michaelangelo turning crosshairs to sunshine."
Unusual juxtapositions like these compel the reader to turn the page,
discover more. Divided into five acts, this collection of poetry arcs
like a prize-winning drama, a volume that should be in everyone's
hands and on everyone's shelf!

--The Tower Journal
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