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Anatomical Venus by Meg Schoerke

Meg Schoerke's Anatomical Venus is a fluid, elegant collection of poems in formal and finely-sculpted free-verse styles that ranges across of diversity of subjects and tones--poems about music, about personal relationships, about the struggles of violation, about historical figures--that are unified by the author's sonorous voice and precise eye. Anatomical Venus is a refined and mature debut for Schoerke, and establishes her as a poet whose career bears watching.

Sample poems by Meg Schoerke

"Meg Schoerke is aware of the two impulses that oppose each other in name but which any serious poetry requires the maker to join together, destruction and transformation.æ One is ravaged by images from the underworld, the other burns with love, but both coil together in this writer's poems of humans caught in a tantalizing embrace with spectral tormentors, of the urban nightmare fed and propelled by jazz music and the extreme life it reflects and imposes, of the sudden touch, brushing against a life that had seemed for a while to be unfolding in an ordinary present time, of the archetype of the soul under orders (Eurydice, Persephone, Narcissus), and finally in poems of animals in complex encounters dramatized by mortality.æ 'Pas de Deux' can be compared to the greatest love poems; so too can the 'Riptide' poems and 'Beyond Mourning.'æ Schoerke proves herself the daughter of Ovid, as well as of Baudelaire."„Mary Kinzie

"Meg Schoerke's poems display a passionate devotion to form, the pure form of shells,æ architecture, jazz, and memory. She seems to believe both that pure form can save us from the chaos and abandonments of everyday life, and that it is the truth of everyday life, the underlying silver bones, the signature riff, the silence 'braced against the ear's interior tunes.' Her contradictory belief is hard to gainsay, given the complex evidence of these poems."„Emily Grosholz

"In five sections that take the reader in five directions, first down, then back, in, out, and finally up, Meg SchoerkeÍs Anatomical Venus identifies her imperative „ 'we who are barren and desolate, let us sing'„ and then in poems that are, like the jazz musicians who inhabit them, ñattuned / yet solitaryî fulfills the imperative, filling the air (and the readerÍs mind) with notes that 'veer upƒ and spool full-throated loops.'"„ H. L. Hix

Meg Schoerke has contributed poems and reviews to journals such as The American Scholar, TriQuarterly, and Hudson Review, and her essays have appeared in a variety of collections on twentieth century American poetry. In 2001, Robert L. Barth published her poetry chapbook, Beyond Mourning. With Dana Gioia and David Mason, she has co-edited two anthologies, Twentieth Century American Poetry and Twentieth-Century American Poetics: Poets on the Art of Poetry (McGraw-Hill, 2003). She received her B.A. from Northwestern University and earned her M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. An Associate Professor of English at San Francisco State University, she teaches courses in nineteenth and twentieth century American and British poetry.

ISBN: 1932339191, 108 pages, $16.00

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