Two And Two

Here comes the high spirits, good nature, smartass seduction, brassy intelligence, form-bending generosity, and large-hearted liberal brio of Denise Duhamel's new poems. It's all here . . . an ABC of jivespeak, a baaad translated Hong Kong action flick starring Spider Woman and her gynecologist, a multilayered heart-rending tour through the psychic landscape of 9-11, poems as Mobius strips. . . and it will make you smile too.
Albert Goldbarth
Winner of the 2007 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award

Denise Duhamel's much anticipated new collection begins with a revisionist tale–Noah is married to Joan of Arc–in a poem about America's often flawed sense of history. Throughout Two and Two, doubles abound: Noah's animals; Duhamel's parents as Jack and Jill in a near-fatal accident; an incestuous double sestina; a male/female pantoum; a dream and its interpretation; and translations of advertisements from English to Spanish. In two Möbius strip poems (shaped like the Twin Towers), Duhamel invites her readers to get out their scissors and tape and transform her poems into 3-D objects.
At the book's center is “Love Which Took Its Symmetry for Granted,” a gathering of journal entries, personal e-mails, and news reports into a collage of witness about September 11. A section of “Mille et un sentiments,” modeled on the lists of Hervé Le Tellier, Georges Perec, and George Brainard, breaks down emotions to their most basic levels, their 1,001 tiny recognitions. The book ends with “Carbó Frescos,” written in the form of an art guidebook from the 24th century.
Innovative and unpretentious, Duhamel uses twice the language usually available for poetry. She culls from the literary and nonliterary, from the Bible and product warning labels, from Woody Allen films and Hong Kong action movies–to say difficult things with astonishing accuracy. Two and Two is second to none.

126 Pages, 6.2 x 8.2 in.

February, 2005

isbn : 9780822958710

about the author

Denise Duhamel

Denise Duhamel’s previous book of poetry, Blowout, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other titles include Ka-Ching!, Two and Two, Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems, The Star-Spangled Banner, and Kinky. Duhamel is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenhiem Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is professor of English at Florida International University in Miami.

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Denise Duhamel