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Babel (Pitt Poetry Series) Paperback – November 7, 2004
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From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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*Starred Review* Hamby, an award-winning poet as remarkable for her pep and juiciness as for her Whitmanesque inclusiveness, is mad for the "the dark drug of words." In her third exhilarating collection, she takes the mockingbird, that gifted imitator, as her mentor in a dazzling set of poems titled "The Mockingbird Blues," but Hamby is also a bit of a magpie, collecting odds and ends as she swoops through the sanctuaries of myth, art, and literature, and the flea market of pop culture. At once full of sass and formally brilliant--her ingeniously constructed poems are supersonic yet stop on a dime--Hamby is philosophical, sexy, and very funny. She writes of Paris and the Deep South, of bubble gum and Hieronymus Bosch, movies and the marquis de Sade, of the conga line of selves that make up a life, rock and roll, idolatry, and war. Hamby conjures up Babel but writes with breathtaking clarity, dispelling cacophony and diving right down into the funkiness of life and the wonder of existence. Donna Seaman
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Barbar a Hamby’s Babel is just that--a wild confluence of words almost inundated by its barely restrained verbal enthusiasms. Funky, erudite, obsessively referential, and wild with listing, her poems orgiastically invite us to hurl ourselves into them."
"Babel is a word-lover's romp, a cultural historian's playground. Hamby can be as inclusive as Goldbarth, as intelligently zany as Frank O'Hara. This is poetry that energizes, that dares to give us a high-wire performer's notion of a good time."
Hamby’s poems have a jumping verve and forward drive. She knows American life and language with exuberant precision and links them to the popular culture, high art, and languages of many of other countries, all of this in a prfoundly assured, resourceful, inventive and unifying voice.”
--Tar River Poetry