Mariner Books, 9780618302468, 80pp.
Publication Date: August 17, 2003
List Price: 12.95*
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Entre chien et loup — between dog and wolf. This French colloquialism for twilight informs Jennifer Grotz’s debut poetry collection, Cusp. A winner of this year’s Bakeless Prize for poetry, Grotz explores the peculiar territory of middleness — neither dark nor light, not quite familiar but not fully unknown. It is a place with its own dangers, its own knowledge: road signs in a French tunnel remind drivers of their headlights in the temporary darkness; a scratchy recording of the last castrato highlights art’s uneasy coupling of inspiration and artifice. Personal, thoughtful, inquisitive, and introspective, these poems reveal Grotz’s varied influences, from the “quilted fields” of west Texas to a jazz club in Paris, from a sexy rodeo rider to Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It is the dizziness of the foreign and the strangeness of what’s all around that gives Cusp its energy, its vitality, signaling the arrival of a distinctive new voice in American verse.
About the Author
Jennifer Grotz’s poems have appeared in Tri-Quarterly, Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review, New England Review, Best American Poetry 2000, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in poetry and MA in english at Indiana University in 1996, and completed her BA at Tulane University in 1993. She has received grants and scholarships from the Oregon Arts Commission, Literary Arts Inc., the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the National Society of Arts and Letters. She is also the author of Not Body, a limited edition letterpress chapbook, published in 2001 by Urban Editions. She teaches English and creative writing at the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers and at the University of Rochester, where she is associate professor.