The Grief Performance
List price: $15.95
Emily Kendal Frey is the author of the chapbooks Airport (Blue Hour, 2009), Frances (Poor Claudia, 2010), and The New Planet (Mindmade Books, 2010), as well as three chapbook collaborations. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
You are not a success.
You arrive at this suddenly,
ride it at zip-line speed
and slam into a tree. The tree
is a madrona and peeling. Your childhood
tree. Your not-success
crackles like lightening around you -
so bright and mighty that for a time
you feel blessed.
Stripped, you divide this branch
from that, walk the wet path home,
sit at your desk, eat your apple
Emily Kendal Frey performs grief and dread as a graceful dance, the kind the tree you cut down in your backyard might do on your heart. This work is light, deft, dangerous. There are perfect poems here, such as “The End”, which enacts a simple, startling twist on the hoary injunction to “Walk towards the light.” See, everything you know is wrong. You really have to read this book.
I've always found Kendal Frey's poems fascinating to the point of transfix—they make compelling reading: I've never started one I didn't finish, something I can say of very few other poets' work. Her first full-length collection surely places her among the most brilliant of today's young poets. The Grief Performance commands and rewards the mind's richest attendance.
Emily Kendal Frey’s The Grief Performance is a book that condenses a journey of finding and re-finding loss into beautiful packages. The packages are the poems and they sit shiny and new on every page of this fabulous and generous book. I want to go into the world that these poems create, just so that I can be given these terrifying presents again and again. I know you will, too. See you there.
Emily Kendal Frey's poems are made of words that can fake out death, trick abandonment into a bed, turn love into hands. They are rich with sound, brave with secrets, funny (tragic), and open ( ). She will twist up your heart into your next heart. Settle in. There are three dead people in her.
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Ordering Information: For a full list of titles, please visit www.csuohio.edu/poetrycenter. Books are available through SPD (Small Press Distribution) at www.spdbooks.org, Amazon.com, and BarnesAndNoble.com as well as many corporate and independent bookstores. For media review copies and printed catalogs, contact Rita Grabowski at 888-278-6473, or 216-687-3986.