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Tackle Box (Anhinga Prize for Poetry Series) Paperback – January 1, 2002
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Every other book of poems wins a prize, or so it seems. Still, some really are winners: White's vivid, plain-language poems, for instance, which won their publisher's poetry prize. White is a surrealist who dreams of loving "The Tin Man," not to shock us but to explain in terms of human longing precisely why: "I like a man sculpted, welded, riveted / by desire." She is a redemptive farceur who in "Tackle Box" envisions a sea fisher's ashes, stolen from her grieving husband when mistaken for drugs, transforming the lives of stockbrokers, "teenagers driving BMWs," and "oddly inept men" who have suddenly gone fishin'. She ponders sad, monstrous mysteries: the woman who, in a final fit of the fear of math, kills children, pets, and herself; the likeness of "Road Kill" to the prostitutes that "someone is killing . . . / on Interstate 70"; the betrayal of confidence of "The Children's Crusade," whether in 1212, in Hamelin, or "late at night in Manhattan." White's striking stuff, populist in impulse, deserves a broad readership. Ray Olson
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From the Inside Flap
These poems offer a unique perception of the world, almost primal in their energy and power but, also couched in the sophistication of global myth and literature. Patti Whites voice is authoritative, witty, and persuasive. She can take the most trivial subject and give it substance through her imaginative vision. Like a shaman, she offers reverence for life and the living, but this is no soft-focus new age shaman afraid to touch blood or penetrate mysteries. To read these poems is to be invigorated, to feel the possibility of moving outside the confines of ones own narrow personal life. But dynamic vision is not all White offers. Her language is radiant, intensely lyrical at times, in spite of its driving narrative force. Perhaps that is why they seem to be the poems of some Wonder Woman or High Priestess, or the kind of woman we would all be honored to know.
Judge, 2001 Anhinga Prize for Poetry
These poems are the best lures Ive picked up in a long time. No theyve picked me up. Patti White can talk tough, but be oh so embraceable.
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Most impressive to me was the adaptation of the poem "Tackle Box" into a short film (no--bloody epics are not the only poems to hit the screen). The cinematography was absolutely beautiful, and the music imparted some of the mystical feel of the poem. While it seemed strange at first that the movie utilized no spoken words, I quickly began to appreciate the effect. In poetry, words are used to create a vivid image, and so the words can easily be expendable in a strictly visual medium.