Soundings: on the Poetry of Melissa Green
Praise for the Poetry of Melissa Green
Here, by the grace and wisdom of the language in which “rhyme” rhymes with “time,” comes the poet who commits everything she touches to your memory.
Across the span of her career, Melissa Green has rendered that which she sees—the natural world, yes, but also the surfaces of our lives: the lingering evidence of history alongside the things we do in the here and now—in language that draws readers deep into an indelible psychic space. Magpiety attests to a heart that is fearlessly attentive to the world, and exquisitely vulnerable to the great sweep of experience.
—Tracy K. Smith
Responsibility and delight are the tone of the true poet, a joy in the craft that supersedes its themes however afflicted, an on every page of this book, especially in the bracing climate of “The Squanicook Eclogues,” Melissa Green’s reverential elations uplift and soothe the reader as naturally and as cleanly as the morning wind.
Melissa Green might well be a twenty-first century version of Emily Dickinson, poet of ecstatic states and extremity. These are poems “scratched in blood,” written by a survivor, a poet, a woman pulled back to life by “ savior language.” Go ahead, I dare you. (“Dare you see a Soul at the White Heat?”) “Lift a serif, duck under and enter the world.”
Twenty poets, fiction writers, visual artists, musicians, editors, and scholars gather here to provide an overview and to engage in a celebration of Melissa Green, a poet from Winthrop, Massachusetts and a woman who epitomizes the word survivor. Green has received prizes from the Academy of American Poets and the Poetry Society of America, and has written multiple volumes of poetry and two memoirs. The contributors of Soundings: On the Poetry of Melissa Greeninclude J. Mae Barizo, Sven Birkerts, Malachi Black, Sumita Chakraborty, Anna Schuleit Haber, Cynthia Haven, Chloe Honum, Major Jackson, George Kalogeris, Karl Kirchwey, Melissa Kwasny, Dana Levin, Askold Melnyczuk, Carol Moldaw, Joyce Peseroff, William Pierce, Steven Ratiner, David Rivard, Rosanna Warren, and Phillip B. Williams. Soundings also contains a previously unpublished poem by Green.
Soundings includes key writings about Green from recent publications as well as a wealth of new perspectives on her work and life. With responses that range from a sonnet to prose poems to literary criticism to personal reflections to an interview, the collection is, fittingly, also a celebration of poetry itself. Tom Sleigh once described Green’s work as “the very definition of what Hopkins once celebrated as the ‘achieve of; the mastery of the thing.’” As a festschrift comprised of responses that span critical and artistic genres, Soundings for the first time allows readers to explore Green’s extraordinary achievement, mastery, and life.
About the editor
Sumita Chakraborty hails from Boston, Massachusetts and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She is one of the editors of AGNI Magazine, and her poetry, literary criticism, and academic scholarship can be found in Boston Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Gulf Coast, and other journals.
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