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August 2008
96 pages  

6 1/8 x 9
9780822959977
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Domestic Interior
Brown, Stephanie
These poems describe the private and sometimes secret spaces of marriage, parenthood, and knowledge.

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Stephanie Brown is the author of Allegory of the Supermarket. She has published numerous poems in the American Poetry Review, and her work has been selected for the anthologies American Poetry: The Next Generation; Body Electric: Twenty-Five Years of America's Best Poetry; and four editions of The Best American Poetry. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Brown is a public library branch manager in Orange County, California.
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In painting, a “domestic interior” depicts the inside of a house and its inhabitants going about their daily lives. The poems in Domestic Interior describe the private and sometimes secret spaces in our places of residence and the interior lives of those who live there. Marriage and parenthood, grief, spiritual renewal, community and country are subjects addressed with a satirical eye and emotional insight.
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“Stephanie Brown is one of my favorite poets. There's something lethally, courageously blunt in her poems. We sense the speaker is tangled in circumstances she can't control, but, like an anthropologist being crushed in the coils of a python, she is still able to comment in the most incisive, satirical, and empathetic ways on the behavior of the creature. Unafraid of naming the ugliness and compromise of human relationships, Brown's tonal palette is a unique hybrid of zany, tragic, sociological, and vengeful. Her star is stationed somewhere in the quadrant of Sylvia Plath and Anne Carson, and it throbs with its own distinctive human brightness.”—Tony Hoagland

“This book is the real Desperate Housewives. It is the opposite of Oprah. It's what happens after everyone else has clicked their remotes. More than a book about the multitude of ways in which domestic spaces can be violated, it is a survival manual written by an archival Cassandra who makes Southern California her domicile. Freud gave us his talking cure. Now after a decade comes the second installment of Stephanie Brown's reading cure. I can't quite decide if this is the most tragic comedy or the most comedic tragedy I have ever read in a volume of contemporary American verse, but one thing I do know: this book broke my heart.”—Timothy Liu

“For anyone who thinks he or she can duck our culture, our time, our circumstances, and blame the neighbor, sister, or guard, Brown will eliminate all excuses. Brown is not really judging. She is nailing us on our own actions, which we have messed up, greatly. Beneath Brown's signature incisive surface, this book creates a sublime accounting of reality.”—Jane Miller

”In her second book, Brown cuts through pretension with a voice like a whip. . . . These poems engage because they depict human relations with a profound honesty.”—Library Journal

”Stephanie Brown is a poetic force to be reckoned with. After the release of ‘Allegory of the Supermarket’ it is difficult to imagine a follow-up as strong as her first collection. ‘Domestic Interior’ delivers.” —Ballard Street Poetry Journal

”The words and stanzas of each of her poems are arranged perfectly, and the order of her works is stitched into a solid, enjoyable compilation. . . . Relevant, realistic, extremely beautiful, and accessible.”—The Feminist Review<./I>

“One of the most original poets out there, and one of the meanest, willing to hurl her thunderbolts at her environment in Southern California.”—On the Seawall: A Literary Website (Ron Slate)


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