Whore is haunted by intimations of love as fleeting as it is mysterious, as the poet traces an unraveling in which the sensory world, in all its lush desolation, becomes a mirror of loss. In poems of longing, rapture, heart-wreck, and self- confrontation, when both private and public worlds seem to be on the verge of disintegration, everything is up for questioning and re-examination.
Sarah Maclay walks into the shaded areas of canvas, willing to follow the play of light and dark until that which is obscure moves into focus. Even language itself, that great interlocutor of the psyche, begins to lose its stability. In the title poem, the result of a trip to the dictionary in search of another word, its etymology that shocks us into an awareness of the potential for contradiction buried in the very roots of language.
With its symbolist undertones and surrealist echoes, this is a poetry of evocation and presence at once tactile and subliminal-a poetry of night.
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The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry judges praised Whore for its "romantic, desolate ingenuity" and is "hunger for unexpected disclosures." They found the poems "spectacular in their execution, in their eagerness to get at what seems to be happening n the other side of our assumptions- that realm where we are assured we know, for instance, what 'whore' means."
Winner of the 2003 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry
Even as a special-order item, the University of Tampa Press usually ships out Whore within 1-2 business days of receipt of order.From the Back Cover:
"The poems of Sarah Maclay's astonishing book insist on life line by line, phrase by phrase, and their grasp on their world is so giving, so undergone, that even their most beautiful images shun ornament-how can there even be ornament in a poetry this generous, this collectively possessed? She shows again and again how much it means to see clearly, even as clarity itself takes on a kind of fragility . . . alive with breakage, and constantly breaking open to possibility." -William Olsen
"These elegant, evocative poems, delivered in the lower register, rich and dense with drunken language, present us with a tropical metropolis lit by a torch-lush, fertile, shadowy- while gifting us with a fragile, solitary, naked sense at the center." -Mary Ruefle
"How to extract poetry out of a smooth Californian quotidian where there are almost no seasons? Through attentiveness to the minute detail, through small lyrical gestures, Sarah Maclay creates seasons in her poetry, seasons of sadness, joy, intelligence and love." -Adam Zagajewski
"If desire is the presence of absent reality, then Sarah Maclay's Whore is a field guide for that desire. As Roland Barthes wrote of the utopias we call love, from the topos of someone speaking within herself, amorously confronting the other who does not speak, the lover's discourse is one of an extreme solitude, spoken through mixed weathers of mists and fallen petals, as it searches the etymology of the word whore, yearning toward a tenderness, a dearness, which, if nowhere else, may be located in the voice of the poet." -Sandra Alcosser
"Maclay's Whore is a street-smart Frank O'Hara Lazarused to L.A. with an ear for random possibilities, telling and sensuously imagined detail. Her meticulously layered sentences punish with lightning-like stabs of bleakness and rage. Maclay's Whore is all about losing your heart, risk, and beauty . . . And she doesn't flinch from any of it." -Roger Weingarten
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Book Description Univ of Tampa, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1879852969
Book Description Univ of Tampa, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. stated first edition edition. 75 pages. 8.70x5.70x0.70 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 1879852969