Joan Houlihan The Us

ISBN 13: 9781932195774

The Us

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Poetry. THE US, Joan Houlihan's tantalizing third book of poetry, is a poetic sequence spoken in the collective voice of nomadic hunter-gatherers. Incompatible with a stronger, more advanced culture ("Thems"), the Us must live outside civilization in order to be free and fully alive. Practical and canny, the Us are also possessed by a sense of awe expressed in superstition and ritual. With echoes of classical mythology, age-old legends, and resilient allegory, this is an absorbing and altogether unique book of poetry. Houlihan's language is ancient in sound and texture yet entirely modern in impact.

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About the Author:

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Joan Houlihan has been a teacher, technical writer, reporter, critic, and editor. Her books include THE US (Tupelo Press, 2009), THE MENDING WORM (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2006), and Hand-held Executions: Poems & Essays (Del Sol Press, 2003). In 2004, she founded the Concord Poetry Center, and in 2006 she established the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference for advanced writers. She is also currently on the faculty of Lesley University's low-residency M.F.A. in Creative Writing program.

Review:


"A breathtakingly memorable collection which celebrates the startling things language and story can do. These poems touch on raw power in their invention. With The Us, Joan Houlihan has pushed the possibilities of poetry."
--Indiana Review
". . . The Us is the Twin Peaks of American poetry... it splits its audience into camps that think it's genius and those that think it's gibberish." --The Rader Report

"The Us is like nothing I have ever read or seen. I thought it impossible to invent anything in poetry . . . the very thing Houlihan has done. These poems are just extraordinary: wildly hewn, classically construed and skewed by an imagined lexicon, but one that, miraculously, works in plain English. In a voice that is elemental, ancient, animistic, pre-lingual even, the speaker manages, with nothing short of magic, to communicate with us, in a language both syntactically inventive and radically simple, about human truths that matter for all time." --Lucie Brock-Broido

Notice for a previous Houlihan book:
"Adventuresome collections of contemporary poetry, take note: here's a writer to watch, so be in the forefront and purchase now." --Library Journal

"...These rich, dense poems have a magical realist quality in which the objects and occasions of the everyday are transfigured into talismans brimming with meaning and contained yet powerful emotion. [Hers is] a unique and vital voice in contemporary American poetry." --Reginald Shepherd --Reviews

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Houlihan, Joan
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