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Saint Nobody is a book equally concerned with the language of the body and the body of language. Incisive, musical, and self-knowing, Amy Lemmon's poems map the territory of female experience, of loss and clear-sighted grappling with a life's challenges: a child with Down Syndrome, the twin pulls of memory and desire, self and other, transcendence and capitulation. This book beautifully renders what one poem calls "some wild abstract / you know exists but need / to be reminded of."
Amy Lemmon's Saint Nobody is a lushly lyric chronicle of exuberance and heartache. Lemmon's poems are honest, transformative, capacious enough to hold the complexities of human relationships—motherhood, childhood, friendship, romance, and romance lost. Her enormous capacity for empathy, her dizzyingly precise imagery, and her pitch-perfect storytelling all mark this marvelous debut.
With candor, with grace, in poems that are as sturdily built as dancers – and as poised – Amy Lemmon applies her strength to a subject that might daunt a poet of less balance and muscle: the bearing and mothering of a challenged child. “Persona non grata errata . . . my flawed and scary baby,” she writes, as she produces that rarity, a page turner book of poetry we dive into not because of the child, not because of the craft, but because of the body-intelligence in the dance between the two. Lemmon explores childhood, sexuality, daughterhood, poetic theories, reading, writing, romance, music, painting and belief in Saint Nobody. In her debut full-length volume of poems, this poet puts the force in tour de force.