The Reef

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Overview


Elizabeth Arnold's first book of poems documents her struggle with cancer. A book-length sequence of poems, The Reef rockets the reader through a Heraclitean chute of accelerated life experience by way of anecdote, satire, facts from medical science, and lyrical sweep. This multilayered work explores the depths of illness, investigating the way one's attitude toward it changes over time and how one gathers and processes information in order to make sense of it.

"Arnold's poetry, much more mature than most writers' first book, links lyrics, slight narratives, and a bit of satire into a work of glorious affirmation. The book is a splendid read."—Mary Sue Koeppel, Florida Times-Union

"For this commitment to both the autobiographical honesty and aesthetic risk, The Reef should be valuable to anyone who has been waiting for where contemporary American poetry is going."—Agni

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What People Are Saying

Rachel Hadas
Harrowing without sensationalism, these poems face illness and mortality gravely, thoughtfully... their authority conveys a sense of truth.
Tom Sleigh
Elizabeth Arnold's first book, The Reef, feels like other poets' third books -- mature, at ease with her voice's own quirkiness, devoted to clarity and precision of feeling...The sheer strangeness and originality of Arnold's perceptions accumulate to visionary grandeur.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226027371
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Series: Phoenix Poets Series Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 70
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Arnold
Elizabeth Arnold
Elizabeth Arnold was raised in New York, and has degrees from Vassar College and Princeton University. She lives with her husband in Hopewell, New Jersey, where she is at work on her next novel.
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