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Mary Ann Samyn

Mary Ann Samyn

Mary Ann Samyn is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Purr (New Issues, 2005). Her work has won the Emily Dickinson Prize from the Poetry Society of America, the James Wright Poetry Award from Mid-American Review, and a Pushcart Prize. She teaches in the MFA program at West Virginia University.

Also by Mary Ann Samyn


Beauty Breaks In

Beauty Breaks InBeauty Breaks In

$15.00 paper | 65 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-930974-87-6
Publication Date: Nov 2, 2009
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The Green Rose Series
An Inland Seas Poetry Book

"Mary Ann Samyn is a devotional poet, one devoted to the mischief and sanctity of a threshold life. Reading, delightedly, through Beauty Breaks In, I sometimes felt that I was bird watching with Paul Celan or going to the movies with Edmond Jabes. Better still, I felt a continuing spiritual economy of pure refreshment. 'A little mayhem goes a long way' as Samyn avows, and I rejoice to believe her."
        —Donald Revell

"Mary Ann Samyn writes poems in which the impossible happens—through language, the human experience is turned to sky, fire, fireworks, diamonds. This is a poet who is able to hijack sorrow, or error, or delight, and transform them into deeply imagined, perfectly condensed and terrifyingly expanded glimpses. One doesn't quit reading a Samyn poem, as they accumulate in the reader’s mind, follow us like our own shadows, permanently. There’s that much power. I find myself wondering what source it is this poet has tapped into—and how frightening and lovely it is that she has done so, so that I can tap into it through her, and have a chance to stare into the Mystery through her poems."
        —Laura Kasischke


Content / Content

In the hollow, the hollow was everything.
We oohed and aahed appropriately.
We learned sandstone versus limestone versus
what might have been.

There’s happiness and then
there’s resignation. Fine.
Diamonds. Fine. Dust.

What we liked best was anticipation,
which was fortunate since that was what we got.

And over every word you said, a pebble.
And over every word I said, a pebble kicked.

Yes, I stole this idea from art,
which precedes articulation which precedes science
and all the rage.

Can you blame me?

For $9 we got the one-hour tour. For a little more,
could have had a hard hat and crawlspace,
could have had total loss.

Thanks, but no, we said. Meaning: been there,
grappled with that.

I like my emptiness with a bit of elbowroom.
You like yours with a convenient hatch.