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Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz is named a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry! Learn more.

frank: sonnets

Diane Seuss
Poverty, like a sonnet, is a good teacher. The kind that raps your
knuckles with a ruler but not the kind that throws a dictionary
across the room and hits you in the brain with all the words
that ever were. Boxed fathers buried deep are still fathers,
teacher says. Do without the. Without and. Without hot
dogs in your baked beans. A sonnet is a mother. Every word
a silver dollar. Shit in one hand, she says. Wish in another.
 
—from “[The sonnet, like poverty, teaches you what you can do]”
“The sonnet, like poverty, teaches you what you can do / without,” Diane Seuss writes in this brilliant, candid work, her most personal collection to date. These poems tell the story of a life at risk of spilling over the edge of the page, from Seuss’s working-class childhood in rural Michigan to the dangerous allures of New York City and back again. With sheer virtuosity, Seuss moves nimbly across thought and time, poetry and punk, AIDS and addiction, Christ and motherhood, showing us what we can do, what we can do without, and what we offer to one another when we have nothing left to spare. Like a series of cels on a filmstrip, frank: sonnets captures the magnitude of a life lived honestly, a restless search for some kind of “beauty or relief.” Seuss is at the height of her powers, devastatingly astute, austere, and—in a word—frank.

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$16.00
ISBN
978-1-64445-045-1
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
Subject
Pages
152
Trim Size
7 x 9
A resplendent life in sonnets from the author of Four-Legged Girl, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
 

About the Author

Diane  Seuss
Credit: Gabrielle Montesanti
Diane Seuss is the author of frank: sonnetsStill Life With Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, Four-Legged Girl, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open, winner of the Juniper Prize. She lives in Michigan.

 
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Praise

  • “In frank: sonnets Diane Seuss has written an ambitious, searing, and capacious life story. . . . Another collection that staggers, one that makes mastery seem effortless, one that’s honest, true, gorgeously frank.”—Traci Brimhall
  • “Every poem in frank: sonnets is an example of the incomparable Seussian Sonnet. . . . Acute, resolute, buoyant, and unflinching, frank rings loudest as a synonym for candor, so much do these poems feel tethered to a real life, a real world, simultaneously grounded and spiritual, verbal and existential, with resonances of the blues.”—Terrance Hayes
  • “Good lord. I’ve rarely read a book that feels so intimate, so spoken. I’ve rarely read a book that makes me feel so spoken to. So with. These are poems born of a kind of wrought faith that, despite all the breaking, language still might bring us closer to each other, and closer to ourselves. Diane Seuss’s frank: sonnets shares that faith with us. And goddamn, I am so grateful for that.”—Ross Gay

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