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Rebecca Reynolds

Rebecca Reynolds

Rebecca Reynolds was born and grew up in Washington, D.C. She received a B.A. from Vasser College, an M.A. in English from Rutgers University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. She has been the recipient of a Hopwood Award, a New Jersey State Council on the Arts grant, and the 1998 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America for Daughter of the Hangnail (New Issues, 1997). She teaches creative writing at Douglass College, the women’s college of Rutgers University, and is an Assistant Dean for Academic Services.

Also by Rebecca Reynolds

 

 

 

 

Daughter of the Hangnail

Daughter of the HangnailDaughter of the Hangnail

$12.00 paper | $22.00 cloth | 60 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-932826-57-2 (paper)
ISBN: 978-0-932826-56-5 (cloth)
Publication Date: Fall 1997
Foreword by Mary Ruefle
Buy: Amazon.com

Winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award for 1998

Editor’s Choice for the Small Press Book Award of 1998

"Rebecca Reynolds' stunning first collection constantly surprises and delights us with its taut meditations. Never glib, Reynolds is by turns lucid, lyrical, reflectively ironic, wittily bittersweet—a frequency/fixed in the complex" ("The Naive Bones"). Daughter of the Hangnail presents us with a brilliant, new voice that cannot be missed!"
         —Cynthia Hogue

"Rebecca Reynolds is that rare type of poet, a sensuous philosopher. Each poem in this luminous collection discovers, that is, breaks through to new perceptions, new paths of thinking, new ways of saying. Reynolds creates rich, deftly stratified poems of memory, cognition, and feeling that are as transformative of the language as they are transportive for the reader. These poems are victories over the ordinary, the easy, the dulled, and excel at doing what we need poetry to do––they awaken, resuscitate."
         —Jeanne Marie Beaumont

"Rebecca Reynolds' poems are leavened by a good strangeness; they infuse the everyday with wonder and music. Whether she writes of perception or relationships, Reynolds maps the singular emotional terrain that comprises the self. Her work—more ontology than confession—exists where Rilke's glowing harmonics meet the raw edge of the millennium. Her exquisitely elliptical lyrics are founded on an intelligence as shimmering as it is convincing.”
         —Alice Fulton

"These poems move bravely forward and conjure the mood of a long Stevensian walk through a post-industrial town at twilight, a town that has seen better times, a town full of houses and apartments where people can be seen in lit rooms, gathered around tables and televisions, trying in very different ways, to collate their experience after a day of labor. ... The book is full of – dare I say it? – eternal questions, and if we are reminded poetry is a good house in a bad neighborhood, making beauty a logistical error, we are also made aware it has stood there for a very long time and is in no danger of falling down or being torn down, so long as poets like Reynolds are given stewardship of this strange conundrum called poetry."
         —from the foreword by Mary Ruefle

Poem

The Pole-Vaulter

Perhaps nothing is not a surface: a red tea,
nectarines dozing in a green bowl,

the house ruffled in a single breath
with National Public Radio in its cells.

Say that space were the only variable. A road
snakes out of the Holland tunnel, and so on

through the Catskills’ miles-to-go-before-I-sleep
in fore-schemes of brick, begonia,

and later, that immense shale.
Back here, a carcass of whiting lies on the table.

Bones open it, like pins stuck in yellowed, antique crepe
in the slice of work/home/work. The past

is headless, like a fine stem. Of course,
the steadily awake are still

curling thick fingers around the bone-white cups
in a 24-hour coffee shop. By “bone,” I mean “imperfect.”

Because we’re stuck
between being here and not being here, although

the only thing beyond me is a point:
the lamp or the particular star

pinned to the felt in Lucy Osborne’s diorama
of the birth of Christ, circa 1968. And my half-Jewish heart

starved for the only child. His only duty—
to be loved. And look:

the viridian dusk may still be distinguished
over the fresh headstones of a village.