Scald

In a spill of language and emotion often contained in the traditional form of the villanelle and pantoum, National Book Critics Circle finalist Duhamel ('Blowout') explores women's place in the world as part of nature, history, and culture and forever at sword's edge with men. The first poem in the book's opening section, dedicated to Shulamith Firestone, takes a steely-eyed look at feminism as legacy and inevitability (' 'having it both ways,'/ a phrase I hate/ as men always have it both ways.') Later, in a poem on evolution, the line 'A woman's real ancestors, not divine but animal' sums up the spirit throughout as we see the animal in the 'stellar explosion' of desire, the frank discussion of fornicating (or not), and one fabulous, juicy poem titled 'Porn Poem (With Andrea ÆDworkin.). Duhamel's deceptively informational, almost deadpan voice might at first puzzle but soon becomes incantatory, even obsessive. Engaging for a wide range of readers.
Library Journal

When her “smart” phone keeps asking her to autocorrect her name to Denise Richards, Denise Duhamel begins a journey that takes on celebrity, sex, reproduction, and religion with her characteristic wit and insight. The poems in Scald engage feminism in two ways—committing to and battling with—various principles and beliefs. Duhamel wrestles with foremothers and visionaries Shulamith Firestone, Andrea Dworkin, and Mary Daly as well as with pop culture figures such as Helen Reddy, Cyndi Lauper, and Bikini Kill. In dialogue with artists and writers such as Catherine Opie, Susan Faludi, and Eve Ensler, Duhamel tries to understand our cultural moment. While Duhamel's Scald can burn, she has more importantly taken on the role of the ancient Scandinavian “Skald,” one who pays tribute to heroic deeds. In Duhamel's case, her heroes are also heroines.

112 Pages, 6 x 8 in.

January, 2017

isbn : 9780822964506

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