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Mama Amazonica is set in a psychiatric ward and in the Amazon rainforest, an asylum for animals on the brink of extinction. It reveals the story of Pascale Petit's mentally ill mother and the consequences of abuse. The mother transforms into a giant Victoria amazonica waterlily, and a bestiary of untameable creatures - a jaguar girl, a wolverine, a hummingbird - as she marries her rapist and gives birth to his children. From heartbreaking trauma, there emerge luxuriant and tender portraits of a woman battling for survival, in poems that echo the plight of others under duress, and of our companion species. Petit does not flinch from the violence but offers hope by celebrating the beauty of the wild, whether in the mind or the natural world. Mama Amazonica is Pascale Petit's seventh collection, and her first from Bloodaxe. Four of Pascale Petit's previous six collections have been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Mama Amazonica won the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize 2018 - the first time a poetry book has won this prize for a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry best evoking the spirit of a place, was shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2018, and was the Poetry Book Society Choice for autumn 2017.
“Throughout this anthology, more than 60 other well-known Brooks poems can be read the same way, with lines from ‘The Mother’ and ‘The Bean Eaters’ tripping down the right-hand side of the page. The anthology ends with ‘Non-Brooks Golden Shovels’ and ‘Variations and Expansions on the Form.’ The cross-section of poets with varying poetics and styles gathered here is only one of the many admirable achievements of this volume.” —Claudia Rankine, The New York Times, August 2017 “The editors, including tireless poetry advocate Kahn, of this unique, new addition to the Gwendolyn Brooks legacy put together a richly diverse set of poets working with the most unusual and fertile new poetic form created in recent years. National Book Award winner Terrance Hayes invented the Golden Shovel, which he illuminates in his stirring foreword, writing, “Because where do poems come from if not other poems?” In a Golden Shovel poem, the last words in each line are taken from a Brooks poem. A veritable who’s who of contemporary poets tried their hands at this encoded homage, including Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, Nikki Giovanni, Joy Harjo, Billy Lombardo, Sharon Olds, Alberto Ríos, Tracy K. Smith, and Timothy Yu. Beautifully introduced by Patricia Smith, this is a beguiling and mind-expanding anthology shaped by formal expertise and deep appreciation for the complexity and resonance of Brooks’ work and profoundly nurturing influence. In all, a substantial and dynamic contribution to American literature.” —Booklist, May 2017 "Gwendolyn Brooks was the first black writer to receive the Pulitzer Prize for poetry back in 1950. A new book honors her work in using a form called the golden shovel, developed by poet Terrance Hayes. In The Golden Shovel Anthology, poets select a line from a poem of Brooks’s and use it as the closing line or lines in a poem of their own. The result is an expansive and extraordinary assemblage edited by poets Peter Kahn, Ravi Shankar, and Patricia Smith.” —Nina MacLaughlin, Boston Globe, March 2017 The Golden Shovel Anthology celebrates the life and work of poet and civil rights icon Gwendolyn Brooks through a dynamic new poetic form, the Golden Shovel, created by National Book Award–winner Terrance Hayes. The last words of each line in a Golden Shovel poem are, in order, words from a line or lines taken from a Brooks poem. The poems are, in a way, secretly encoded to enable both a horizontal reading of the new poem and vertical reading down the right-hand margin of Brooks’s original. An array of writers—including Pulitzer Prize winners, T. S. Eliot Prize winners, National Book Award winners, and National Poet Laureates—have written poems for this exciting new anthology: Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Nikki Giovani, Sharon Olds, Tracy K. Smith, Mark Doty, Sharon Draper, and Julia Glass are just a few of the contributing poets. The poems found here will inspire a diversity of readers, teachers, and writers of poetry while at the same time providing remarkable access for newcomers, making it ideal for classrooms. The Golden Shovel Anthology will also honor Brooks with publication in 2017, the centenary of her birth.
“The cross-section of poets with varying poetics and styles gathered here is only one of the many admirable achievements of this volume.” —Claudia Rankine in the New York Times The Golden Shovel Anthology celebrates the life and work of poet and civil rights icon Gwendolyn Brooks through a dynamic new poetic form, the Golden Shovel, created by National Book Award–winner Terrance Hayes. An array of writers—including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize, and the National Book Award, as well as a couple of National Poets Laureate—have written poems for this exciting new anthology: Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Danez Smith, Nikki Giovanni, Sharon Olds, Tracy K. Smith, Mark Doty, Sharon Draper, Richard Powers, and Julia Glass are just a few of the contributing poets. This second edition includes Golden Shovel poems by two winners and six runners-up from an international student poetry competition judged by Nora Brooks Blakely, Gwendolyn Brooks’s daughter. The poems by these eight talented high school students add to Ms. Brooks’s legacy and contribute to the depth and breadth of this anthology.
Pascale Petit'apos;s Tiger Girl marks a shift from the Amazonian rainforests of her previous work to explore her grandmother'apos;s Indian heritage and the fauna and flora of subcontinental jungles. Tiger girl is the grandmother, with her tales of wild tigers, but she'apos;s also the endangered predators Petit encountered in Central India. In exuberant and tender ecopoems, the saving grace of love in an otherwise bleak childhood is celebrated through spellbinding visions of nature, alongside haunting images of poaching and species extinction. Tiger Girl is Pascale Petit'apos;s eighth collection, and her second from Bloodaxe, following Mama Amazonica, winner of the Royal Society of Literature'apos;s Ondaatje Prize 2018 - the first time a poetry book won this prize for a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry best evoking the spirit of a place. Four of her earlier collections were shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize.
Without denying the gravity of the problems of feeding the earth's population while conserving its natural resources, Seeds of Resistance, Seeds of Hope reminds us that there are many positive movements and developments, especially at the grass-roots level, that demonstrate the power of opposition and optimism.
Shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize, this is the second collection from a poet of powerful emotions and vivid imagery. The Zoo Father underlines the author's reputation as a questing poet capable of outstanding imagistic flourishes and surprising associations. This extraordinary and powerful volume is comprised of two sections, the first about with the poet's relationship with her father, the second with her mother. Section One is heavily imbued with imagery of the poet's travels in South America and her researches in the cultures and ecology of the Venezuelan rain forest. Pain, anger, bewilderment are refracted through a rich, often sensual imagery of fauna, hallucinatory drugs and tribal beliefs. This gives the poems their originality, and prevents subject matter of childhood abandonment and abuse becoming too harrowing. The imagery adapted from shamanistic beliefs is especially memorable. Section Two is set in southern France, in an almost equally exotic location of vineyards and 'dinosaur plateaux'. It concerns the poet's family holidays in "the vineyard" and her rediscovery and subsequent repossession of that place. Once again, the poems delineate a primary relationship (with the poet's mother), with the lushness of the imagery putting into surprising context the development of that relationship.
Pascale Petit's first collection uses startling imagery to journey through Venezuelan Amazon rainforests and the icy realms of Tibet. Transforming memories of childhood and marriage, she encounters a man changed into a butterfly, a bride who is a frozen waterfall. At the core of this book are two prize-winning longer poems: Eisriesenwelt, the ice mother, and Kanaima, the forest father -- parents recreated as geology and Amerindian demons, in a landscape of orchids, jaguars, and talking waterfalls. She is the Poetry Editor of Poetry.

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