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Theories of Falling (New Issues Poetry & Prose) Paperback – April 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: New Issues Poetry & Prose; 1st edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930974744
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930974746
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,375,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I kept coming back to these poems--the tough lyric voice that got under my skin. Clear, intent, this poet doesn't want to fool herself or anybody else. Desire pushes defeat against the wall, and the spirit climbs up from underground. --Marie Howe, Judge<br /><br />Sandra Beasley slices her way down the page with precision and punch. Her haunting 'Allergy Girl' series will set off such an itch, I doubt you'll ever fully recover . . . This poet leaves us to smolder and ache in small kingdoms where 'even the tame dogs dream of biting clear to the bone.' --Aimee Nezhukumatathil<br /><br />Some truths induce fevers; others offer fast relief. The unflinching, personal human truths in Sandra Beasley's debut collection are worth the swallow, for not too long after, we awaken to both our healing and agitation. --Major Jackson

Sandra Beasley slices her way down the page with precision and punch. Her haunting 'Allergy Girl' series will set off such an itch, I doubt you'll ever fully recover . . . This poet leaves us to smolder and ache in small kingdoms where 'even the tame dogs dream of biting clear to the bone.' --Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Some truths induce fevers; others offer fast relief. The unflinching, personal human truths in Sandra Beasley's debut collection are worth the swallow, for not too long after, we awaken to both our healing and agitation. --Major Jackson

About the Author

Sandra Beasley won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize for her book Theories of Falling, selected by Marie Howe. Her poems have also been featured on Verse Daily, in journals such as 32 Poems, Blackbird, New Orleans Review, and Meridian, and in the 2005 Best New Poets, selected by George Garrett. Awards for her work include the 2006 Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize from Passages North and fellowships to Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Jenny McKean Moore Workshop, the Indiana University Writers' Conference, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she received her M.F.A. from American University and serves on the editorial staff of The American Scholar.

More About the Author

Sandra Beasley is the author of Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a memoir and cultural history of food allergies. Her previous books are both collections of poetry: I Was the Jukebox, which won the 2009 Barnard Women Poetry Prize, selected by Joy Harjo, and Theories of Falling, which won the New Issues Poetry Prize judged by Marie Howe. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Slate, The Believer, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Best American Poetry 2010.

Beasley lives in Washington, D.C., where her nonfiction has been featured in the Washington Post Magazine. For more information, please visit www.SandraBeasley.com, follow her on Twitter @SandraBeasley, or check out her Author page on Facebook.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Shawn on March 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I discovered Sandra in the most recent issue of AGNI, where her short story cut through the others to become, easily, the best I have read in a year or more. Watch this writer!

Here is a book of poems that are full of image, emotion and truth. The writing was clearly drawn from experience and set down here in a form that feels honest. At the same time, almost every one of them is accessible. This last is a rare thing in a book of poems, the lack of which being, in general, what keeps people from poetry.

I can’t wait to see what else she writes.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kingfisher1031 on December 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book of poetry powerfully slings emotion with stark realism. Image nouns tartly jab into being. These poems are warnings of answers found in experience.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Miles D. Moore TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
It is always exciting when you come across a first book by a poet who combines masterful precision of language (as opposed to mere facility) with an idiosyncratic and persuasive viewpoint. Sandra Beasley's "Theories of Falling" is just such a debut. From her earliest infancy, Beasley had the fragility and uncertainty of life brought home to her, as her amazing "Allergy Girl" sequence of poems demonstrates:

Peanuts tumbled by, harmless. But a cashew--
that fit into the open crescent, there, its immune
goblin hole. My antibodies had their plastic red

histamine hammers ready--smack smack
smack--skin of my forearms, chin, chest
rippling by with each little blow--

they were just doing their job.

Beasley's poems reach into the darkest realms of experience, encompassing familial and romantic dysfunction, violence and death. (Of an acquaintance who died in the Iraq war, she writes, "History//is a hand folding over you,/a magician stealing the coin.") Yet her poetic outlook is one of clear-eyed, tough-minded optimism. As we find ourselves--literally or figuratively--trapped in a falling elevator as in this collection's title poem, we can only note the wisdom of her final exhortation: "Jump, for God's sake./Jump like your life depends on it."
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Armand Aisselle on May 5, 2008
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This is the best first book of poetry since James Merrill's "The Black Swan." Like Merrill, or John Ashbery, Sandra Beasley uses personal experience as a jumping off point. Only for her, the "jumping off" is literal, as off the face of a cliff, or Niagara Falls, as in the volume's spectacular centerpiece, the poem "Theories of Falling." Beasley's themes are connectedness (often short-circuited) with other people (family, friends, obtuse others), one's inner world and how it relates to one's self image, and the occasional raw terror of mere physicality (including the physicality of one's own body). The words are strong, sometimes angry, often mordantly playful. Beasley is a poet of risks, exhilarating sonic beauty - but not of easy solutions. It's all about what stance to take when you're in the moving elevator and the cable snaps. What to do with your knees. What to do with your mind. It is not a moment when hesitation is appropriate. And neither is this. So: Click in the upper right hand corner of your screen, and buy this book.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By marianne on May 17, 2008
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Ms Beasley writes with an elegance that goes straight to the heart with occasional side trip to the funny bone. Her unflinching honesty touches something deep and familiar in all of us. Ms Beasley has the potential to be one of the most important literary voices of this century.
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