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What We Did While We Made More Guns


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About the Author

Dorothy Barresi is the author of four previous books of poetry: American Fanatics; Rouge Pulp; The Post-Rapture Diner, winner of an American Book Award, and All of the Above, winner of the Barnard New Women Poets Prize. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals including Hotel Amerika, Volt, Pool, Conduit, New Ohio Review, Kenyon Review, Poetry, Pleiades, The Gettysburg Review and The Southern Review. She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at California State University, Northridge.


There is a lucid and compelling ethical indignation in Dorothy Barresi's enviable new book. There is, as well, Barresi's enviable mastery of twining an extended metaphor around sinuous syntactical cadences. In these bold and often furious poems, Barresi's intelligence and imaginative power can wring cliches, or pieces of old news until each one becomes vivid and unbearable again. A powerful and arresting book."" - Lynn Emanuel

""Despite its catalog of institutional travesties, this book's deep subject is love, a striving toward justice. Don't we know those people - strangers and intimates - who need us? This book does, and it leads us into ecstatic revelation that we do, too. Barresi is a poet of injured fortitude and coarse vulnerability; she reminds us how very peculiar life is, and how dear."" - Katie Ford

""Dorothy Barresi's poems fragment that dark angel, death, into countless prismatic slivers even as she concedes that the dead are ""with us always."" Her provocative imagination-on-the-page challenges our smug hope for indestructibility in necessary, irrefutable ways: ""Each vertebrae / knobbed to pearl / is a bridesmaid / in a bone ceremonial // walking us / to the grave."" - Lynne Thompson

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