Rebecca Wolff Figment

ISBN 13: 9780393327618

Figment

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9780393327618: Figment

Winner of the 2003 Barnard Women Poets Prize, Figment has a vivacity and edge which gives it immediate presence" (Eavan Boland).

What is a poem?  Figment suggests myriad possible answers: a post-confession, a remnant lyric, an unerringly wistful invention. Rebecca Wolff makes use of every tool at her disposal to create charming, discomfiting poems, spiked with "shrewd summings-up" and "nervy, controlled lyric bursts"  (Maureen N. McLane, Chicago Tribune).

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About the Author:

Rebecca Wolff is the editor of Fence and the author of Manderley, Figment and Continuum. She lives in Athens, New York, with her family and is a Fellow of the New York State Writers Institute.

From Publishers Weekly:

Though she won admiration for the fast-moving verse of Manderley (a Robert Pinsky pick for the National Poetry Series), Wolff remains best-known as a founder and editor of Fence, the New Yorkâ€"based journal and press that continues to put forth a constellation of hip, evasive, challenging young poets often called "elliptical." This second collection highlights some of the verse techniques readers of Fence might expect: its scenes and fragments are urbane, knowing, always alert to irony, particularly when gender-related: "If I could only learn to make the perfect skirt/ I would never work again," the first poem notes. The work that follows projects a vivid wit that at its best perfectly skirts prose sense and story, promising instead "to kiss you/ smack on the vocabulary." Wolff's recurrent subjects include motherhood, Manhattan and the Atlantic Coast, as well as the white-collar workplace, where lyric often fears to tread. One poem, called (with a wink) "I walk the property line" takes a break to explore a "Dark shade/ on the patch of grass where// I'm who I always wanted to be." At the end of a sequence of lyrics, Wolff's speaker announces "I am the genie of self-critique," and takes "a militant stance against encroaching/ cynicism." Taking simultaneous shots at militancy and cynicism is part of this book's main dynamic; in a space where "It all happens so fastâ€"/ ovulation, creation, cremation," a variety of poses, or figments, may seem all that is left. Wolff's poems manage to make embracing them seem like a genuine possibility.
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