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Lisa Lewis

Lisa Lewis

Lisa Lewis’s previous collections are The Unbeliever (Brittingham Prize), Silent Treatment (National Poetry Series), Story Box (Poetry West Chapbook Contest), and Burned House with Swimming Pool (American Poetry Journal Book Prize). Her work has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, including the American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, American Literary Review, Fence, Rattle, Missouri Review, Washington Square, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and two editions of Best American Poetry. She directs the creative writing program at Oklahoma State University and serves as poetry editor for the Cimarron Review.

Also by Lisa Lewis

  • The Unbeliever
  • Silent Treatment
  • Story Box
  • Burned House with Swimming Pool
 

Vivisect

VivisectVivisect

$15.00 paper | 79 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-930974-92-0
Publication Date: Oct 2010
Buy: Amazon.com | spdbooks.org

"The remarkable dynamism of this book comes partly from the struggle it enacts between the confessional and postmodern modes. As the title Vivisect suggests, Lewis often seems to slice right into the living body, exposing the heart itself still beating with its dark secrets. But if language is the scalpel, it is also the flesh, offering at times a tough or slippery resistance, and revealing, when penetrated, more language that leads in multiple and unexpected directions, yet, like the mind, keeps circling back irresistibly to the troubling subjects it most wants to avoid. The result is rich, powerful, and complex poetry that gathers more weight with each reading."
         —Jeffrey Harrison

"Despite difficult and painful images (or, perhaps, because of them), the title poem reminds us that poetry's unique power resides in its ability to make every human experience unique (yet universal) and exquisite."
         —Sima Rabinowitz, NewPages.com

Praise for The Unbeliever:

"The eyes and voice here could easily be those of a fine fiction writer. Lisa Lewis has a secure touch with narrative, and a prodigal ease with details both gritty and lovely. The result is a collection of extraordinarily powerful poems."
         —Henry Taylor, Brittingham Prize citation

"Readers . . . will be reminded of Walt Whitman by these sometimes prosaic, long-lined poems. . . . Though Lewis’s first book may place her among Whitman's daughters, the hard-edged voice is all her own, and it does not falter as she considers the difficulties of female sexuality, gender and human isolation. . . . Guided by her best gifts, 'anger and strength and persistence,’ Lewis prevails."
         —Publisher's Weekly

Praise for Silent Treatment:

"There’s true grandeur in Lisa Lewis’s steely and unremitting poetry of moral imprecation, of courageous, self-scrutinizing consciousness, of necessary speech and revelatory silence, of sacred passion."
        —Edward Hirsch

"Silent Treatment is filled with the marvelous and the indecorous, the romantic and the unruly, and with the panoramas of daily life which, until now, I had thought were no longer possible in American poetry."
        —Lynn Emanuel

Poem

Vivisect

(first stanza)

Invert the starfish.
Its muscular points
Contract to resemble
A nerve-damaged hand.
Workers in mirror shops
May be thus injured.
But the scars show.
The underside
Of the starfish is
Clear of marks, unless
It comes from ocean
Shores littered
With broken glass.
You could open the disc
Of the ocre star or sea bat
With a crescent-moon
Sliver of green bottle,
Paring the five spiny
Arms, directing
The shard’s edge
To the mouth where
The stomach protrudes.
With practice, you
Can pin down the slender
Snake star or intricate
Basket star, which walk
Without tubefeet,
A mystery to investigate:
Slice the muscled arms.