My Brother Is Getting Arrested Again

Overview


My Brother Is Getting Arrested Again celebrates the contradictions and quandaries of contemporary American life. These subversive, frequently self-mocking narrative poems are by turns funny and serious, book-smart and street-smart, lyrical and colloquial. Set in Philadelphia, Paris and New Jersey, the poems are at ease with sex happiness and sex trouble, girl-talk and grownup married life, genre parody and antiwar politics, family warfare and family love. Unsentimental but full of emotion, Daisy Fried's new ...
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My Brother is Getting Arrested Again

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Overview


My Brother Is Getting Arrested Again celebrates the contradictions and quandaries of contemporary American life. These subversive, frequently self-mocking narrative poems are by turns funny and serious, book-smart and street-smart, lyrical and colloquial. Set in Philadelphia, Paris and New Jersey, the poems are at ease with sex happiness and sex trouble, girl-talk and grownup married life, genre parody and antiwar politics, family warfare and family love. Unsentimental but full of emotion, Daisy Fried's new collection, a finalist for the 2005 James Laughlin Prize, is unforgettable.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Daisy Fried’s poetry is fluid and quicksilver as life seen close up. Here is an original voice: provocative, poignant, and often very funny.”
—Joyce Carol Oates

“Fried’s vivacious sophomore effort is a breath of pure oxygen for the serious, politically engaged, unpretentious free-verse storytelling so popular in American poetry a generation ago and in eclipse since. Winningly personal, the poems are nevertheless artful, with a light touch to balance their heavy subjects of social and racial injustice.”
--Publishers Weekly

“The satirical tone here is delicious and the social observation is shrewd.”
--Poetry Magazine

Publishers Weekly
Fried's vivacious sophomore effort is a breath of pure oxygen for the serious, politically engaged, unpretentious free-verse storytelling so popular in American poetry a generation ago and in eclipse since. Moving from her own bourgeois-bohemian domesticity to the tough kids of inner-city Philadelphia, Fried (She Didn't Mean to Do It) revives the personal anecdote and the narrative incident through wit, a sterling ear and a prosaic patience. In the title poem, Fried's brother goes to jail for his involvement in left-wing street protests; elsewhere Fried (who teaches at Smith College but flaunts her Philly connections) describes a first boyfriend, the sorrows of minimum-wage work, her aging left-wing Jewish aunts and the three things that have ever made her husband cry. Fried's opening poem takes the form of a message left on an answering machine; "Jubilate South Philly: City 14" adopts Christopher Smart's famous quasi-biblical praise poetry to describe a sassy pregnant teen, while "The Hawk" finds the right symbol to protest the Patriot Act. Winningly personal, the poems are nevertheless artful, with a light touch to balance their heavy subjects of social and racial injustice, closer perhaps to Grace Paley than to Philip Levine. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Fried's first volume, She Didn't Mean To Do It, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. While this new volume is definitely of interest, there are so many dichotomies that readers might not know what to make of it. Fried attended Swarthmore College and has received several grants; her work has been published in the higher-end, often conservative poetry journals. Yet the narrator of many poems seems almost a female equivalent of Charles Bukowski. In "Go To Your Room," for example, we see the child lying "belly down, stomach/ muscles tight, head hanging/ off the bed-edge, arms straight out/ before her," understanding a moment later that "There are escapes and/ they are true things./ Mother, that ass, doesn't know./ Sun/ blasts the curtains open like legs." However hard-edged they become, these aren't necessarily "personal" poems, as pointed out directly in "The Conference Notes," where the speaker is talking to two women, and one observes, "She's writing down everything you say." Weaker poems become rhetorical and prosaic. At her best, as in "The Hawk" or the haunting "Doll Ritual," feminist and political concerns merge with imagery that's both subjective and universal. For larger collections.-Rochelle Ratner, formerly with Soho Weekly News, New York Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal

Fried's debut, She Didn't Mean To Do It, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, and this follow-up was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Clearly, Fried is more than a promising poet; she's already arrived. The lean, clean lines of her second effort capture life as it is lived in sharp, socially charged vignettes. (LJ3/15/06)


—Barbara Hoffert
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822959199
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Series: Pitt Poetry Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Daisy Fried is the author of She Didn't Mean to Do It, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. She has also received the Cohen Award for poetry from Ploughshares, a Pushcart Prize, and the Leeway Award for Excellence in poetry. Fried has been a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University and a Pew Fellow in poetry. Currently the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith College, she lives in Northampton, MA, and Philadelphia.
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Table of Contents

Cordless 3
Doll ritual 5
American brass 6
Neat hair 9
Shooting Kinesha 10
Best of show 14
Seven years 16
Jubilate South Philly : city 14 17
Broken radios 20
Gal noir 21
The falling 23
Aunt Leah, Aunt Sophie and the Negro painter 27
The hawk 30
Running while screaming 31
The drunkard's bar 33
Go to your room 35
Empty woman 37
At advent, the waiting room 39
Sugar 40
First boyfriend, 14 42
Some loud men, some women 43
Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole 45
Chicken factory 47
My brother is getting arrested again 51
Used one speed, Princeton 54
Stealing from Lehigh Dairy 55
Three times only 58
The conference notes 59
Slack morning, reading Sterne for the first time at 36, after my husband has mocked me for years for my omission, Princeton, early fall 64
Envy 65
In a station of the metro 68
Death, a poem in two parts 69
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