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Born Under the Influence, Poems by Andrena Zawinski
Born Under the Influence, through the beauty in its poignant and passionate poems, carries the reader on the journey poetry should.
"Andrena Zawinski's powerful fourth collection is dynamic in the way musicians use that word, artful in its mood shifts-loud in anger at what women are given to endure and quiet in appreciation of the pleasures they can find. With great skill and feeling, she depicts women's lives across a variety of times and places. Everywhere, Zawinski pays attention, whether to the miners' wives in a company coal town who were used by bosses '… in fields,/across floorboards, mouths silenced with gags/of grief…' or to a vase with three lilies in a seaside room: '…their musky heads/tilted the way women stop to talk on coastal trails/ears of the cove listening in.' Born Under the Influence speaks up beautifully for women and also for life." - Susan Cohen
"Andrena Zawinski is an activist poet whose works intensely open up paths of struggle, celebration, and revolutionary victories. Her work will convince any reader of her importance as a major American poet. In these poems, she names all the things of youth and then arrives at womanhood and attacks all forms of contemporary femicide amid lyrical affirmations of love attained in a brilliant book of poems." -Jack Hirschman
"Andrena Zawinski is a poet of rare talent and radical empathy who combines the straightforward, take-no-prisoners, blue collar directness of a steelworker's daughter in her narratives along with the rules of formal verse creating lines which blossom into poems of memory, rebellion, longing, righteous anger, and-above all-survival. These poems are tough, smart, and beautifully crafted." -Mary Mackey
"Andrena Zawinski records details of memory and songs of longing. She describes growing up as a Catholic girl in a working-class neighborhood as a cascade of childhood toys and games, a flood of adolescent loves, a parade of bad boys and charmers. Innocence dissolves into sexual awakening merging with grief and loss. Once we know who the poet is, she's free to paint landscapes, cityscapes, portraits of women-the murdered ones, the forgotten ones, the ones who died alone. The poet celebrates working men and women: waitresses, immigrants, farm workers, ironworkers. A versatile master of fixed forms, Zawinski employs pantoum, rondel, haibun, landay, and others to counterpoint descriptions of the horror of rape, the agony of rage, and the triumph, however tentative, of recovery. These are poems of wide range, expert craft, and deep feeling. We are lucky to have this poet among us." -Michael Simms