Bright Brave Phenomena (Paperback)
Coffee House Press, 9781566893039, 118pp.
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
"What we have here is a lovely collection of Nadelberg inventions. These inventions are for telling it like it is. In order to do this they variously prick your arm, burn down, protest, pretend, and dance, to name just a few. . . . These are indeed very Bright Brave Phenomena, that's right."--Rod Smith
By turns disarmingly droll and hysterically sad, Amanda Nadelberg's singular use of everyday language transports us into a world where uncanny juxtaposition and unabashed repetition engender entirely new meanings.
Amanda Nadelberg is the author of Isa the Truck Named Isadore, which won the Slope Editions Book Prize. She lives in Oakland, California.
About the Author
Praise For Bright Brave Phenomena…
Amanda Nadelberg’s poems . . . are jumping, funny, romantic, and frequently lyrical. She repeats words within a stanza, looping back to what you can later recognize as a theme, but which in the immediate reading is almost pure music.”Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly
Nadelberg’s touch is nimble without being precious, colorful without being tacky, and she confronts loneliness without dwelling, making her sorrow sting all the more with its deftness . . . [H]er ebullient language captures the giddiness of love and youth.”Publishers Weekly
[S]ometimes the speaker in Nadelberg’s second collection . . . has tense personal moments: I looked out/ the big windows and you/ were there too and all/ there was to see was elephants/ and angry elephants at/ that.’ With inimitable everyday sparkle she also says I/make horses whenever/ I want.’” Library Journal
"Nadelberg's second collection is a jumpy look at the ins, and especially the outs, of love. This poet has wildly capacious vision and a prickly sense of humorthere's a bit of everything here, or everything here is in bits." Publishers Weekly, Poets to Watch for National Poetry Month
Nadelberg’s second collection offers dizzying shifts in scale and boldly propulsive logic from the stability of poems scrupulously attentive to what the aircraft industry calls structural integrity.’ The familiar thrills and degradations of romantic love provide the book with much of its material, but Nadelberg’s hands render themstrange all over again: I am a picnic. Sit down and paw / your hands at my basket arrangements.’ The transformations love ruthlessly performs on us attune the poet to the radical mutability of the self and her realitymore than just a picnic, she’s also toothpaste, an ostrich, and the river in [her] own way,’ to name a fewbut where others might succumb to the doldrums of skepticism or even madness, Nadelberg finds innumerable ways of pulling herself together. This is a beautifully affirming book.” Timothy Donnelly
Amanda Nadelberg's Bright Brave Phenomena gives us a poetic speaker so youthful and mercurial that we immediately want to call her charmingexcept that she also warns, I will spit/in the face of anyone who says I'm/charming.’ But the primary colors of the book are blue and yellow and green, and the ocean is never far away, and we are made part of a whole/movement of people refusing to/leave their dogs at home.’ It's all sun and solecism (Come on, I'm exciting to be with you’), wildly changing accents and registers, and things missaid in the heat of the moment. Shenanigans: yes./Drama, no.’” Ange Mlinko
What we have here is a lovely collection of Nadelberg inventions. These inventions are for telling it like it is. In order to do this they variously prick your arm, burn down, protest, pretend, and dance, to name just a few. . . . These are indeed very Bright Brave Phenomena, that’s right.” Rod Smith