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"Only These Words": Keetje Kuipers Praised in Tar River Poetry

[caption id="attachment_679" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Keetje Kuipers. Photo by: Betsy Dougherty"]Keetje Kuipers. BOA poet. Photo by: Betsy Dougherty[/caption] The seminal, twice annual Poetry magazine Tar River Poetry had a lot of wonderful things to say about the winner of Boa's 2009 A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Award, Keetje Kuipers, in their most recent issue. Keetje Kuipers' poetry "throbs with keen desire, restless loneliness, frustration and, occasionally, striking recklessness." Her poetry is placed "within a poetic register that is more tangible, emotionally sincere, linguistically straightforward and sensuous than that of the experimental lyric; it is also, while not at all reticent, acutely aware of the limits of language and of the off-putting quality of tone that authorial certainty and/or navel-gazing typically creates." Tar River Poetry reviewer John Hoppenthaler also lovingly dissects a few poems from the collection, and comments that:
Often, in Beautiful in the Mouth, the inability to find the words to say is at least partially caused by distance-- both physical and emotional--, and it is this lack of proximity, then, that serves to thwart desire. The dynamic is repeated throughout, as in "Across a Great Wilderness Without You," where a drunken speaker makes "strange noises" at deer from her porch, which might be "language," she allows, "if language can be a kind of crying." Her hands she's "retired from their life of touching [the absent beloved]," and her "phone's disconnected." "Just as well," she admits, "I've got nothing to tell you...." Intimacy requires proximity, which in turn may allow for communication that is meaningful and tangible.
Beautiful in the Mouth is among the top selling volumes on the Poetry Foundation's contemporary poetry list. Be sure to read the rest of John Hoppenthaler's pensive review in Tar River Poetry.
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