Somatic considers the often blurred line between physical and psychological illnesses, with an emphasis on hysteria, especially the foundational case of the hysteric Anna O. By evoking and torquing elegies, odes, and what I call arias, these poems explore the blurred line between the individual and the public, and between lamentation and praise.
"November Wasps balances absence and presence, grief and love, loss and praise...It's the intensity of feeling that draws us to the poems, but it's the holding back that devastates...A book of aching and mesmerizing truth."
"Ann Keniston's quiet, passionate, wonderfully intelligent voice finds a way to give emotion, thought, and word a quiet gravity and grace that is unique in American poetry...these poems are superb exemplars of the mind in motion in which transparency of word matches exactly the density of thought and integrity of emotion."
EDITED POETRY COLLECTION
"[Keniston's] deft readings give us important new ways of thinking about how poets hold themselves within spaces where the literal and figurative, presence and absence, blur and speak and fade.”
A study of the address of absent or inanimate others in the work of four post-World War II American poets, with a focus on loss, desire, figuration, audience, and subjectivity, Overheard Voices offers new insight into both contemporary lyric and the lyric genre more generally.