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What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo Paperback – July 26, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0982876657 ISBN-10: 0982876653 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Black Lawrence Press; Reprint edition (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982876653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982876657
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Pascale's poems are as fresh as paint, and make you look all over again at Frida and her brilliant and tragic life." - Jackie Kay, Observer Books of the Year
"Poems about paintings rarely set off fireworks, but this is ekphrasis with a difference: Petit speaks in Kahlo's voice with eerie believability." - Time Out

"This arresting collection...exploring the way trauma hurts an artist into creation, celebrates the rebarbative energy with which Kahlo redeemed pain and transformed it into paint." - Ruth Padel, Guardian

About the Author

Pascale Petit trained at the Royal College of Art and spent the first part of her life as an artist, before deciding to concentrate on poetry. Since then she has published five collections, three of which were shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and featured as Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement, Observer and Independent. In 2004 the Poetry Book Society selected her as one of the Next Generation Poets. She teaches poetry writing courses for a number of organisations, including Tate Modern. Petit has read her work at many festivals around the world and travelled to Mexico several times to research Kahlo’s life. What the Water Gave Me was first published in the UK by Seren in 2010 and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and the Wales Book of the Year.

More About the Author

A portfolio of poems from Pascale Petit's latest book Fauverie won the 2013 Manchester Poetry Prize. T S Eliot shortlisted What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo (Seren, 2010), was also shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year. "Pascale's poems are as fresh as paint, and make you look all over again at Frida and her brilliant and tragic life." - Jackie Kay The Observer, Book of the Year. "This arresting collection... exploring the way trauma hurts an artist into creation, celebrates the rebarbative energy with which Kahlo redeemed pain and transformed it into paint" - Ruth Padel, The Guardian." No other British poet I am aware of can match the powerful mythic imagination of Pascale Petit." Les Murray, Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year." Pascale Petit creates forms and strategies that go beyond common knowledge of what a poem can or should do; her poetry never behaves itself or betrays itself; and contemporary British poetry is all the livelier for it." David Morley, Magma.

Petit has published six poetry collections including three shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize and which were books of the year in The Times Literary Supplement, The Independent and Observer. She was born in Paris, trained as an artist at the Royal College of Art and was a visual artist for the first part of her life. In 2004 the Poetry Book Society selected her as one of the Next Generation Poets. She is widely travelled, including in the Venezuelan Amazon, China and Nepal, and leads poetry courses at Tate Modern in the galleries.

Find out more about her on her website http://www.pascalepetit.co.uk and blog http://www.pascalepetit.blogspot.com

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Beginning with the stunning cover of one of Mexican Painter Krida Kahlo's compelling works - a painting titled 'What the Water Gave Me' - through the pages of poems in response to the life and art of Frida Kahlo, this book is a little master piece. Poet Pascale Petit was born in Paris and grew up in France and Wales. She trained as a sculptor at the Royal College of Art and was a visual artist for the first part of her life. She has traveled widely, particularly in the Venezuelan Amazon and China. She has published five poetry collections: Heart of a Deer (1998), The Zoo Father (2001), The Huntress (2005), The Treekeeper's Tale (2008) and now this collection What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo (2010). She teaches writing at the Tate Modern and has traveled to Mexico several times to research the mesmerizing life of Frida Kahlo. While other visual artists have had highly successful exhibitions of paintings in response to Kahlo, this is one of the finest series of poems honoring the tortured life of that great Mexican painter.

The poems are written in the voice of Frida Kahlo, mirroring specific paintings, and other poems incorporate Petit's own experiences as a visual artist and incorporates Kahlo's images and life into works that are searingly creative. Petit explores how Kahlo transformed trauma into art after the near-fatal bus accident, remembering her childhood battle with polio, and dealing with the bifurcated love/loathe relationship with her husband, renowned painter Diego Rivera. Her writing style matches her subject - surreal yet painfully human - and allows us to 'hear' Kahlo's coping with the world of pain and sorrow and exhilaration.
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