Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Jessica Fox-Wilson's new book!

Dave Bonta started his review by saying, "There are — it occurs to me as I finish this book — too many love poems in the world, and not nearly enough poems about desire."  Another reviewer said, "Poet Jessica Fox-Wilson knows a basic and important truth: we are made of stories.. . . But this poet knows something even more important—we have the ability to re-tell and re-shape those stories, to configure them in line with our own experience and to find a truth in them that isn’t the 'received' truth of their packaging."  (A thoughtful reflection on the themes of wanting and needing can be found here.)

Jessica Fox-Wilson, MFA '05, has released her debut book of poetry, Blameless Mouth. The book explores the cycle of hunger, consumption and satiety. The collection traces the poet’s relationship with hunger from childhood to womanhood, uncovering what it means to feel forever wanting. Her work also considers the cultural legacy of hunger, through stories of starving children and hungry women, like Hansel and Gretel, Persephone, Eve, and others. Blameless Mouth illuminates the struggle of living daily with the contradictory pressures to want less but take more and searches for satiety in a culture that encourages insatiability.

Using retellings of the familiar stories - Grimm's fairy tales, Adam and Eve - Fox-Wilson investigates the female body, its appetites and injuries, the relations between fathers and daughters and between a woman and her own image. Obsessed with violence and its repercussions, these poems imagine an alternate creation myth in which a woman struggles to take control of her own destiny. – Jeannine Hall Gailey, author of Becoming the Villainess
Jessica Fox-Wilson’s poetry casts seasons of light on what it means to be human.  She elevates plain spoken story to elegance, seamlessly weaving narratives to create a lovely kaleidoscopic image. – Darci Schummer, whose fiction has appeared in Conclave:  A Journal of Character, Paper Darts, and Volume One
Jessica Fox-Wilson has written a ferocious, elegant, tough-minded collection of poems.  Her exploration of what it means to be hungry, of what the culture asks of its girls and women, compels the reader's attention and a kind of allegiance with the fierce voice of the narrator.  Braiding myths, tales, and sacred texts with her own compelling present-time narratives, we travel with a poet unafraid to speak truth to power, wherever that power resides, however evident or hidden.  In the poem where she explores the definition of the word, lacuna, the poet gives us this definition: an empty space, a missing portion, in something which is otherwise continuous.  I think of the deep and continuous traditions of poetry, and I think Jessica Fox-Wilson has filled an empty space, a missing portion, with her exceptional, beautifully crafted poems.  Buy this book. Consider it food, a full portion which will leave you satisfied and inspired by her gifts as poet. – Deborah Keenan, author, most recently, of Willow Room, Green Door: New and Selected Poems, Milkweed Editions

If you're interested in learning more about Blameless Mouth, visit the book's Facebook page and the book's website. Blameless Mouth is currently available on Lulu, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.com.