Read Odalisque in Pieces by Carmen Gimenez Smith Free Online
Book Title: Odalisque in Pieces|
The author of the book: Carmen Gimenez Smith
Edition: University of Arizona Press
Date of issue: September 15th 2009
ISBN 13: 9780816527885
Loaded: 1315 times
Reader ratings: 6.6
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.45 MB
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In her debut poetry collection, Carmen Giménez Smith illuminates Latina identity in the prismatic light of postcolonial history, feminism, myth, and the fragmentation of modernity. From these disparate elements she fashions a female persona—“clairvoyant with great shoes”—who is both bracingly modern and movingly vulnerable. Through her poems we traverse the landscape of a woman’s life (girl, mother, lover), navigating a terrain tinted with mythology and relic yet still fresh and uncharted. The poems revolve around issues of identity—and the ways in which identity is both inherited and constructed/reconstructed. Or, as one poem puts it, “The planet floating backwards / whirling some of us older than the stars, some of us nascent and bare.” Although she employs techniques of avant-garde poetry, Giménez Smith shades and deepens the New World landscape into a territory of rare lyric intensity and energy. Humorous, sly, sexy, sophisticated, these poems are animated by passion and hard-won knowledge.
In these poems we encounter such strange beauties as a girl assembling and disassembling, a moth trapped in a glass of water, new-age fairy godmothers, and a lark who sings for the milkman. Yet we are also made aware of how these beauties reflect the speaker’s troubles—her effort to employ, in the words of one of her most memorable poems, “Only the invisible post where she writes the encounters / with air’s lusters. Only the imagined hour / with which she’s made a fragile craft.”
Vivid and charged with an inner light, these are poems that linger and expand in the mind and memory.
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Read information about the authorFormerly a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa, Carmen Gimenez Smith is now an assistant professor of creative writing at New Mexico State University, the publisher of Noemi Press, and the editor-in-chief of PUERTO DEL SOL. Her work has most recently appeared in MANDORLA, COLORADO REVIEW and PLOUGHSHARES and is forthcoming in jubilat and DENVER QUARTERLY. She is the author of ODALISQUE IN PIECES (University of Arizona Press, 2009) and BRING DOWN THE LITTLE BIRDS (University of Arizona, 2010). She lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico with her husband and their two children.
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