Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet The Greenhouse

ISBN 13: 9781424318025

The Greenhouse

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Poetry. California Interest. Women's Studies. Winner of the 2014 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. In THE GREENHOUSE, Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet details the dual desires of new motherhood—the struggle to make peace with both connection and separation, with being a self irrevocably tied to another self. In lines both fluid and broken, delicate and irreverent, these lyrics recount with boundless love the difficulty of finding oneself again as a parent, and the elemental joy of being transformed by the very life that tethers you.

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About the Author:

Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet's THE GREENHOUSE (Unicorn Press, 2016) won the 2014 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. Her first book of poems, Tulips, Water, Ash was selected for the Morse Poetry Prize and published by University Press of New England. Her poems have been awarded a Javits fellowship and a Phelan Award, and have appeared in journals including Cream City Review, At Length, Quarterly West, Blackbird, The Iowa Review, 32 Poems, and Third Coast and in the anthologies Best New Poets and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. She writes, edits, and teaches in Oakland, California.

Review:

Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet s collection, The Greenhouse, asserted itself from the first reading for its interplay of restlessness and patience, its mapping of an interiority both shared and dearly personal, and for its lyric and maternal primacy. Primacy is the circumstance, yet doubleness is the story of The Greenhouse, a double birth. The triggering narrative of these fabulous poems traces the coming-into-life first months of Stonestreet s infant son and the elemental onset of memory without language . . . / no name, no category. Milk. // The present nudging at the shore. But an ever more engaging, intense tale follows a second birth: the coming-back-to-words of Stonestreet herself, at once tethered to the tug on the other end while also struggling to remember and reclaim even reinvent her autonomous self: a good test-taker. Conversationalist. / Raised to please. Born to run. At first tentative, hesitant, even self-doubting ( almost guaranteed you will find / it boring / (domestic) (female) (too much) (too little, too small) ), the voice tutors itself in how to return to the social world where she was once so proficient and adept. It s the very nature and identity of the self that has changed in the process of mothering a process so primal and singular, yet so equally mundane ( Millions / of babies, of mothers, millions more jars // flowing from the conveyor belt ). Throughout this brilliant collection, Stonestreet s curiosities and honesties are bracing and true, as she chides and nurtures, studies and entreats, meditates, amuses, and sings, even if it s just one song when all the rest have fled from memory. The poems of The Greenhouse are profound, fundamental works, born of a deep interiority and making their intricate ways, phrase by phrase, toward a design both organic and artful. --David Baker

These poems make a basic fact palpable when a child is born, a mother is born. Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet discovers her child and changed life in front of us. I love the honesty with which she sorts out her new selves, the one expanded by the existence of her son and the one trying to come back to its own borders and language. As if responding to a line from one of her poems plot moving/inexorably forward, oh my darlings if we could only lie down and rest she investigates the joys and complexities of this evolution, this meld and pull, with verve and a calming intelligence. This is a wonderful book. --Bob Hicok

The Greenhouse is as alive as the title promises. These are strange, thriving poems, full of surprises, written in a voice that s entirely unique but seems in its own way ancient, too. What is said in this work is as potent as what is left unsaid, and the patterns that are broken thrill in their brokenness, but then remake themselves. Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet s poems are wildly thoughtful, pensively wild. --Laura Kasischke

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