Jackknife

New and Selected Poems

Beatty's lyric comes from the edge of a knife that continues to carve honest beauty from an America we learn only from gifted hands. The arc of this poet's brave heart moving through her life brings back to us the song of who we are. This is a fabulous collection.
Afaa M. Weaver

In Jackknife: New and Selected Poems, Beatty travels the turns and collisions of over twenty years of work. She moves from first-person narratives to poems that straddle the page in fragments, to lines that sprawl with long lines of train tracks. Always landing in meaning, we are inside the body—not in a confessional voice, not autobiography—but arriving through the expanded, exploded image of many stories and genders. The new poems leap imagistically from the known world to the purely imagined, as in the voice in “Abortion with Gun Barrel”: “I am the counselor,/there are cracks in the barrel of the gun/there is aiming/shots of sorrow—/ shots of light.” Commitment to a rabid feminist voice continues, but arrival has a new ring to it, with beginnings rescripted: “I am a bastard./I walk around in this body of mine.” Beatty’s fascination with the highway and the breakout West jackknifes at the crossroads of the brutal and the white plains of loss—the body torn down and resurrected in the twenty first century.

168 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

February, 2017

isbn : 9780822964490

about the author

Jan Beatty

Jan Beatty’s fourth full-length poetry collection, The Switching/Yard, was named one of “30 New Books That Will Help You Rediscover Poetry” by Library Journal. The Huffington Post named her as one of ten women writers for “required reading.” Her other books include Red Sugar, Boneshaker, and Mad River, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. Beatty is host and producer of Prosody, on NPR affiliate WESA-FM featuring the work of national writers. She is director of creative writing at Carlow University, where she runs the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops and teaches in the MFA program.

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Jan Beatty