Apocalyptic Swing

Apocalyptic Swing

by Gabrielle Calvocoressi

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Finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry.See more details below


Finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Muscular and musical, this second collection from Calvocoressi (The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart) combines boxing, Elvis, church burnings, sex and horses to produce a book that is pure Americana. Exploring the parameters of masculinity, Calvocoressi plays with the gender of the narrative voice from poem to poem, “Have you/ ever gotten hit or thrown against a wall?/ There's a sweetness to it, at that moment when/ your God would forgive you anything.” The result is a not unpleasant ambiguity. Unafraid of interacting poetically with severe subject matter, in “Fence” she describes the murder of Matthew Shepard in the voice of a disgusted everyman. “They took that boy and tied him to a fence/ and beat him till he didn't know his mother's/ name.” Boxing is the overlying theme of the collection; in “Fugue” Calvocoressi turns Rilke's “Archaic Torso” toward Duk-Koo Kim, the South Korean lightweight who died after a fight with Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini: “For here there is no television/ that does not see you.” Calvocoressi's poetic intensity makes energetic identity politics into verse: “Take my hand,/ take my whole life too. I've slicked/ my hair back, I've made myself/ a boy for you.” This is a compelling sophomore effort from a very promising poet. (Oct.)

Product Details

Persea Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

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