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The Women Who Loved Elvis All Their Lives

The Women Who Loved Elvis All Their Lives

by Fleda Brown
A collection of poetry by Fleda Brown.


A collection of poetry by Fleda Brown.

Editorial Reviews

Obviously, this collection of poems is organized around the impact and influence of Elvis Presley. Each poem recounts biographical, musical, and cultural images of the phenomenon that was Elvis and sets them within snippets of the time period in which he lived. So along with the familiar details of Elvis and Priscilla, Elvis and his mother, Elvis and the Army, are references to Teflon, transistor radios, Ed Sullivan, Sputnik, the pill, Nixon, and the death of Princess Di. None of this follows a strict chronological ordering, but it begins with Elvis in the Sun Records studio and loosely follows through the details of his life from observers' perspectives. Featured prominently as the last section of the book is a tour of Graceland through the thoughts of fans as they tour the "Living Room," "Elvis's Bedroom," "Lisa Marie's Favorite Chair," "The Jungle Room," and "The Meditation Garden." These are not poems about those rooms in Graceland or about Elvis's life as much as they are poems about the icon of Elvis Presley: voices recounting how Elvis was a part of their own lives whether through his music, his TV image or his physical presence. "Ho hum, I thought the songs / were for me" says one persona looking over the famed Trophy Room. The poems raise the issue of what popular culture says about what we value while they recount the images of a man rather than the man himself. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Carnegie Mellon Univ. Press, 66p., . Ages 15 to adult.
—Janis Flint-Ferguson

Product Details

Carnegie-Mellon University Press
Publication date:
Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.20(d)

What People are Saying About This

Stephen Dunn
"What a remarkable collection! Fleda Brown has turned obsession into a series of finely wrought evocations of a period. She knows her music, and she knows that her early stirrings in relation to it were emblematic of a nation's. There's consistently high quality of phrasing in this book, and an astute framing of effects. Which is to say Fleda Brown has been able to raise popular culture into art like few others before her."
Sharon Bryan
"This is one of the best account I've ever read of what obsession with our idols can reveal to us about ourselves. The consciousness at the center of these subtle, intricate poems glides so smoothly from one point of view to another—from Elvis and his mother visiting his father in prison, to a fan and her teenage daughter, to a dead Elvis trying to 'break through to flesh' by lifting weights—that the borders between one person and another blurs. Brown's poems show compellingly how the Other becomes a mirror in which we can reconsider our own lives and then return to them transformed."
Michael Waters
"'You think the fat women who cried didn’t know / what they cried for, when he died?' asks Fleda Brown in this spirit-lamp of a book that filters our 'irreconcilable urges' through an iconography that renews, once again, America’s promise. As much about the mysteries of the creative process, its 'private language,' and the rigors of self-discipline as about Elvis himself, The Women Who Loved Elvis All Their Lives accomplishes something original, perfect in its moment, that triggers, as if by accident, an 'astonished whoop.' If Elvis lives anywhere these days, he surely lives in these seductive pages."

Meet the Author

FLEDA BROWN is the author of four previous collections of poems: Fishing With Blood (winner of the Great Lakes Colleges New Writer’s Award), Do Not Peel the Birches, The Devil’s Child, and Breathing In, Breathing Out (winner of the Philip Levine Prize). Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Southern Poetry Review, American Poetry Review, and other journals, and they have been used as texts for several prizewinning musical compositions. Ms. Brown holds a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas, and is co-editor of Critical Essays on D.H. Lawrence. She and her husband live in Newark, Delaware, where she is Professor of English at the University of Delaware and directs the Graduate Student Poets in the Schools program. Ms. Brown is poet laureate of Delaware.

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