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

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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.

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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: 8.5 x 6.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,303,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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, as well as three poetry collections: Count the Waves; 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 poetry has appeared in Poetry, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, Tin House, and The Best American Poetry 2010. Her nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post Magazine, Oxford American, and Psychology Today.

Awards for her work includes a 2015 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, two fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers.

Beasley serves on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at the University of Tampa. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she coordinates literary events for the Arts Club of Washington. For more information, please visit www.SandraBeasley.com, follow her on Twitter @SandraBeasley, or check out her Author page on Facebook.

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By Michael A. Wells on June 13, 2015
Format: Paperback
Sandra Beasley throws a parade in Theories of Falling; a parade to impress us with the many reasons not to love her. The Allergy Girl, wasting away as an infant. Her bloodstream equal to a Fisher Price workbench. The wheezing, rashes, the dangers of a tainted kiss.

Beasley’s book of poetry has a lingering quality that toys with you and requires that you pick it up again and again as if it were the antidote that saves you from something, perhaps boredom. She guarantees you can walk away from going over Niagara Falls if you do it just right. But warns you’ll just die in a poor house.

There is an intimate nature here, an uncovering of truth. As if she slowly peels back layers that we might see beneath the surface of our prescribed reality to find something altogether more real than we imagined. The poems collectively have an affluence of lyricism. The substance, the metaphor all come together nicely. There is nothing more you will want, except more of her work.

As for Beasley’s parade to dissuade our affection, she is indeed wasting the elephants and ticker tape, it isn't working.
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By SG 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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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Miles D. Moore 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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