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The Book of Goodbyes 'an intriguing dip into magic realism'

BookofGoodbyes_Bookstore Charleston City Paper recently interviewed BOA poet Jillian Weise on her upcoming collection, The Book of Goodbyes.  Rather than delve into poetic terms and techniques, the interview focuses more on how Weise's external stimuli--geography and a prosthetic--influenced her lines. Elizabeth Pandolfi begins the article by divulging the book's unwritten prequel: "Poetry isn't what took Weise to Argentina originally. She was there thanks to a Fulbright scholarship, which she was using to conduct research on a novel about Charles Darwin. She'd applied to the program after a love affair at the University of Cincinnati, where she was doing doctoral work, ended poorly--and you can't get much farther away, geographically or mentally, from Ohio than a small town at the southernmost edge of civilization." And, according to Weise, "The seeds of these poems came from that trip." These seeds most clearly grew--or fed--the Intermission section of her book, "poems that concern a little flock of birds who fall in love, buy insurance, and read the classics."  Weise identifies it herself as magic realism, influenced by Cortazar, Marques, and Borges. Argentina aside, "there's another important element of Weise's writing that can be easy to overlook, at least in The Book of Goodbyes. She wears a prosthetic leg. Though that fact is referred to in this's by no means front and center," writes Pandolfi.  Jillian comments on this, too: "What I'm doing as a writer is bringing light to this particular way of life.  There's this sense, even in the headlines, that if you're disabled you're either an inspiration or we should feel pity for you, sometimes both." To read the full article, click here. The Book of Goodbyes is available through the BOA Bookstore.
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