From Library Journal
In her first volume, McCue introduces the figure of a stenographer who is a rapt and obedient instrument of the dictator's will, a faithful conduit for the lives she transcribes: "How can I help/ loving the chronological/ seductions of file and box?/Imagine the alternative chaos." When the stenographer reaches the third stage of her work, translation, she finds herself part of a process "full of loopholes where truth can wriggle free," attempting to construct "antidotes to the chaos of language loose in the air . . . and secretly thriving on the distortion therein." Complementing this defining progression (from ordered obedience to chaotic liberation) is the poet's emergence from isolation ("Truth be told, I can't just can't muster up/ how I get to you, so I reach around corners and become inclined/ to love what's inorganic"). As winner of the 1991 Barnard New Women Poets Prize, McCue joins the distressingly small group of women who are awarded coveted first-book prizes--one of very few avenues of publication open to new poets. This volume, with its rich structure and rewarding verse, is deservedly honored.-Margaret K. Powell, Yale Univ. Lib.
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