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Leaving Clean Paperback – June 14, 2013
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
In her stunning first book, Leaving Clean, Natalie Giarratano offers us an incisive look at a fallen world, cleansed neither of cruelty nor affection, of bitterness nor conflicted debt, what summons us to lines that, with a precision of wit and heartbreak, refuse the clean and easy answers. Again and again we find the spit of gods and fathers and the deep hunger of the traveler who longs to purge herself of such. There is no map to get us out of this place. Better yet, we have poems of fierce grace and difficult beauty, poems that plot escape but argue against it. In them we fall back to earth like love or some such gift of hard rain that dreams of nothing less. --Bruce Bond
Leaving Clean is the debut of a new, original voice where the cartography of poet Natalie Giarratano s inner visions turn themselves further inward, the eye s internal stare,/standing guard on the shore of her body/with lighthouse intensity, interrogating the ruinous borders of memory where the poet dares her craft and gaze to take us. These poems refuse to look away and beg to be revisited over and over. You trust the power and vulnerability of this poet at once. In Leaving Clean, you will find a profound country unlike any other. --Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Natalie Giarratano s debut volume Leaving Clean brings to light a brilliant poetry that knows that the heart must break if it is to heal, again and again. In poems that evoke all the complex pungencies of the Texas Bayou, a weird, wholly recognizable America rises, ever ready to turn its head on the past it both creates and neglects. These poems contend with the ubiquity of violence in the individual consciousness, as they argue, implicitly or explicitly, with a vengeful God that embodies the cruelties we would not understand about ourselves. And there is grace here, and a kind of humility that refuses to be modest, and a longing that extends into the backwards of time, in details rendered magically and lovingly enough that individual and collective shame is out-ted and transformed by poetry into a common, intimate language. --William Olsen
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