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February 1996
80 pages  

6 x 9
9780822955801
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All-American Girl
Becker, Robin
Winner of the 1996 Lambda Book Award for Lesbian Poetry.

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Robin Becker, Liberal Arts Research Professor of English and Women’s Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, is the author of seven poetry collections, including Domain of Perfect Affection, The Horse Fair, Giacometti’s Dog, and All-American Girl, winner of the Lambda Literary Award. In 2002 the Frick Art and Historical Center in Pittsburgh published Venetian Blue, a limited-edition chapbook of Becker’s art poems. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Bunting Institute, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2000 she received the George W. Atherton III Award for Excellence in Teaching from Penn State, and from 2010 to 2011 she served as the Penn State Laureate. For the Women’s Review of Books, Becker edits poetry and writes a column on poetry called “Field Notes.”
“With poignancy, honesty, and grace, Becker contends with the messy implications of her lesbian sexuality, Jewish identity, and sister's suicide. . . . Becker is acutely aware of, and devastated by, her many losses, but emerges defiant and admirably without regret or shame.”—Boston Review

“Gathered at the edge of each poem in Robin Becker's fourth collection, palpable and terrible, wait the forces of chaos. Love affairs end, families dissolve, the kingdoms of childhood are lost. All-American Girl, despite it insouciant title, is a sad book recounting a life fully adult and aware of human limits. As a lesbian and a Jew, Becker claims a history of expulsion and isolation. What is astonishing in these poems is how the author uses irony and humor-abundant in imagery as well as tone-to define rather than distance herself from such knowledge.”--Ploughshares

“Robin Becker’s poems in her Lambda Book Award winner, rove ther terrain of loss and grief: the streets of childhood in Philadelphia where she courts other women against the backdrop of our country’s Founding Fathers; the arid deserts of the Soutwest where she examines her childless, often partnerless existence; and the romatic tapestry of Italy where she struggles as an outsider to make a life with other women work comfortably on her terms.”--Prairie Schooner

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“It is Becker's undefendedness that makes this collection so strong and appealing. Whether acknowledging childhood privilege . . . or admitting her part in creating her own destiny . . . Becker's direct, fluidly accessible lyric narratives move assuredly through even the most complex emotional terrain, living with the questions, letting us know that we are with a speaker we can trust.” --Women's Review of Books
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