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What Feeds Us Paperback – October 15, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Wind Publications; First edition (October 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893239578
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893239579
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In this brimming collection Diane Lockward's considerable wit engages both what is askew and awry and what to a lesser eye might seem to be standing up straight. She never takes you where you expect to go--that is part of her talent and her sassy wisdom. She is an original and a delight.
---Baron Wormser

What Feeds Us is sometimes humorous and sometimes heartbreaking. Diane Lockward's language is both plain-spoken and rich, lush. This is a wonderful book that might not nourish your body but certainly will nourish your heart.
---Thomas Lux

In these sparkling poems, Diane Lockward takes life as it comes and finds nourishment in it all: succulence of the peach, redolence of the pear, the "green grape of sorrow." I love these poems for their craft, sensuality and energy. Like high-wire acts of language and imagination, they almost leap in the air and come down again on the wire, balancing between witty and dark, personal and invented, idea and emotion.
---Patricia Fargnoli

About the Author

Diane Lockward is the author of two previous collections, Eve's Red Dress (Wind Publications, 2003) and a chapbook, Against Perfection (Poets Forum Press, 1998). Her poems have been published in several anthologies, including Poetry Daily: 366 Poems from the World's Most Popular Poetry Website and Garrison Keillor's Good Poems for Hard Times. Her poems have appeared in such journals as The Beloit Poetry Journal, Spoon River Poetry Review, Ascent, Poet Lore, Fulcrum, and Prairie Schooner. Her work has also been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, and read by Garrison Keillor on NPR's The Writer's Almanac.

More About the Author

Diane Lockward is the author of three poetry books, most recently, Temptation by Water. Her previous books are What Feeds Us, which received the 2006 Quentin R. Howard Poetry Prize, and Eve's Red Dress. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Against Perfection and Greatest Hits: 1997-2010. Her poems have been included in such anthologies as Poetry Daily: 360 Poems from the World's Most Popular Poetry Website and Garrison Keillor's Good Poems for Hard Times, and have been published in such journals as Harvard Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her work has also been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer's Almanac. She is the recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and has received awards from North American Review, Louisiana Literature, and the Journal of NJ Poets. www.dianelockward.com

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on November 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
I just loved Diane Lockward's first book, Eve's Red Dress; so often, unfortunately, the second collection fails to live up to the first one, but I am happy to report that this is not the case here. What Feeds Us is a veritable bonbon box chock full of yummy poems. There are poems about food, from cold pizza, to the "green grape of sorrow," to a pastry shared by two lovers: "He bites / from one end, I the other, the custard between us sweet / as French kisses, our tongues foraging like bees / in blossoms, our faces plastered with chocolate." There's even a concrete poem in the shape of an avocado. And there are poems about the inner things that feed us, or fail to, the many shapes of hunger: loss and unrequited love, the complicated love between parent and child, the hungry heart, the body's longings. Part of the way Lockward's poems are so unforgettable is her use of luscious language and snappy diction: bees that "buzz . . ./ in their velvet tutus," the pickle, "its green obscene shape," an avocado, "pear / gone crazy," "bottom-heavy like a woman in a Renoir." I could go on and on, but you'll just have to read these Turkish delights for yourself. I've read so many dull, flat, and just-plain-boring poetry books lately, but this one I read with pleasure from cover to cover. There's not a clunker or a bad line in the entire collection. What Feeds Us is absolutely delicious, deep, dark, and rich, like a really great chocolate cake.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Susan Rich on November 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These deceivingly simple poems recast the unembellished life as something strange and new. Whether displaying her gift for celebration or her flair for melancholic reckoning, Diane Lockward's work ushers us heart first into her world: up close and personal. As in the poem "Love Test: A Ghazal" she tries out several poetic forms and hits clear notes each time, "I've studied, done research, pulled all-nighters / but I can't master the lesson. Love" is one of the couplets that highlights her ability to conjure emotion in what looks like a sleight of hand, but is actually no easy flick of the wrist. Other favorite poems include "Heart on the Unemployment Line," "Insomniac," and "Pyromania." This is a collection for anyone who likes to eat, love, or imagine another's full and alluring life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Winner of the Quentin R. Howard Poetry Prize 2006, What Feeds Us is former high school English teacher Diane Lockward's latest collection of brief, free-verse poems that embraces all forms of nourishment in life itself. From a petulant, invective poem against bumblebees to enjoying and celebrating the pleasure of an anniversary to the haunting analogy between creating a house for wrens to nest in and trying to become pregnant, What Feeds Us paints sublimely with descriptive language, sometimes plain-spoken, sometimes obliquely surreptitious. "Reconstruction": I am a house he would move into, / so framed for this man. With hammer / and nails he holds me together, / such tools he carries, his pliers, his adze, / gives me his awl, his drill and bits. / He puts a roof over my head. / I am shingled and waterproofed, / plumbed, mitered, and wired. He makes / of me a dream house, a cream puff, / my rough-hewn timber smoothed. / Broom-clean, in move-in condition. / I am two-storied now. He builds a fire in me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sarah W. Bliumis on February 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
Diane Lockward's What Feeds Us, feeds us with the far sides of human experience and all that falls between. There are poems that are deeply sad, poems that are wry, and poems that are celebratory, almost reverential.

I especially admire that way Diane handles deep sadness. She comes at her subjects from the side. In her poem, "The Gift", she is offering someone, presumably the father, a mechanical boy, seventeen, a new son.: "This boy can't get into trouble .../ He'll last forever./ This boy's durable./ This boy won't break.". In the poem, "The First Artichoke", the poem takes a sudden turn from description of a family gathering, to a conflation of the artichoke and the father's leaving, "Piece by piece the artichoke came apart, /the way we did in 1959, the year the flowerbuds/ of the artichokes in my father's garden bloomed/ without him".

And her gift for simile. In her poem "Verga", which is snow that melts before it hits the ground, she compares this phenomenon to "the heart grieving without tears./ Something like a hand frozen/ in a photograph,/ a hand forever waving/ goodbye".

What I like most in this collection is the wonderful mixture of joy and sorrow. There are poems that make us laugh like "The Shampoo Artist": A Really Dramatic Monologue", "For this hour, you're my Galatea./ Lean back while I lather you ..." and "The Tomato Envies the Peach". And there are poems that are tender and sensual like "Wren House" and "His Two Arms". After reading What Feeds Us, I felt full.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jessica G. De Koninck on November 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Sometimes I lay down on the floor and let worms/crawl over my belly" - Diane Lockward pulls us into the details of our living world and how we are changed by it. She finds music in all language and artfully explores the way words taste in the mouth. A deft and careful poet, Diane Lockward's What Feeds Us is a must read.
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