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November 2017
112 pages  

6 x 8
9780822965145
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Let's All Die Happy
Adair-Hodges, Erin
Winner of the 2016 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize

The poems in Let’s All Die Happy explore apostasy, concerned with what happens after the beliefs and institutions which promised fulfillment leave us empty instead. Darkly humorous, the collection examines a patriarchal culture in which women are defined through their relationship to others.
Erin Adair-Hodges is visiting assistant professor of creative writing at Toledeo University and is the co-creator and curator of the Bad Mouth Reading Series. Her poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, Boulevard, and Green Mountains Review, among other venues. Winner of the Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, she’s also been a Bread Loaf Rona Jaffe scholar, and has received awards from the Rockland Residency and The Writer’s Hotel.
“What’s most impressive in this powerful book is the female speaker’s voice—it’s striking because what it says is often unexpected, surprising, and exactly right.”—Ed Ochester, judge

“Here in Let’s All Die Happy we encounter a voice that is insightful, confident, and deliciously specific. In poems of dark domesticity, this book speaks to both the anchoring and erasure that come with mothering: ‘Some weeks/ no one says my first name, no one’s/ tongue flicks the last letter out.’ It’s a remarkable debut.”—Maggie Smith

“With ‘a tube sock of doom’ and ‘lifeboats with lions,’ Erin Adair-Hodges uses a searing wit and a boundless reservoir of heart to expertly navigate the complexities of family histories and American anxieties. This is stunning debut collection. Always urgent, nuanced and deeply felt, Let’s All Die Happy has something important to show us about being alive.”—Matthew Olzmann

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Winner of the 2016 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize

The poems in Let’s All Die Happy explore apostasy, concerned with what happens after the beliefs and institutions which promised fulfillment leave us empty instead. Through a darkly humorous lens, it also examines a patriarchal culture in which women are defined through their relationship to others and how this inheritance weighs heavily not only on the lives we lead but shapes what life it is possible to even imagine having. Ultimately, the poems push against these containers, burning through the stages of a woman's life until there's nothing left but to invent what's next, finding both loneliness and liberation in this reclamation.

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