American Spikenard

American Spikenard

by Sarah Vap
     
 

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2006 Iowa Poetry Prize winner

“If everyone decided to call themselves a girl / that word would stop.” In this award-winning volume of authoritative and assertive poems, Sarah Vap embarks on an emotional journey to the land of America’s female children. Questioning, contradicting, radically and restlessly demanding acceptance, she searches for a

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Overview

2006 Iowa Poetry Prize winner

“If everyone decided to call themselves a girl / that word would stop.” In this award-winning volume of authoritative and assertive poems, Sarah Vap embarks on an emotional journey to the land of America’s female children. Questioning, contradicting, radically and restlessly demanding acceptance, she searches for a way to move from serious girlhood to womanly love. Demonstrating the seriousness of female childhood—which is as dangerous and profound as war, economics, and history, that is, as manhood, in her view—Vap reveals the extremes of self-doubt and self-righteousness inherent in being a contemporary American girl.
“When we’re overcome / by everything we think we love—then by morning / we’re adults.” Just as the oil of American spikenard may provide relief from childhood, so does Sarah Vap provide the kind of holy and extravagant love and honor that can relieve the growing pains of “everyone’s little girl.”

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Sarah Vap’s poems are stunningly voiced, bristling with drive and energy. Her rich and inhabited landscapes thrive on her tough, relentlessly probing, questioning, and wide-ranging diction. American Spikenard is like one long poem, a poet’s coming to terms with identity and history in a quest to be acknowledged for exactly who she is.”—Ira Sadoff, author Barter

“For those ready to explore the glitter and scars of girlhood, Sarah Vap’s first book is ‘saying, for the sake of integrity, the dearest things.’ Here, in poems in which the ancestors are often made of glass, we find shattered, luminous bedtime stories steeped in vulnerability. At turns sly and direct, American Spikenard summons ghosts and dolls, dogs and ponies, the snotty baby Jesus and holy birthday parties. A beautiful, weird collection that holds the promise of intimacy and the provocation of mystery.” —Arielle Greenberg, author  My Kafka Century

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781587295355
Publisher:
University of Iowa Press
Publication date:
04/28/2007
Series:
Iowa Poetry Prize Series
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.30(d)

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