Brenda Shaughnessy calls Jillian Weise a 'powerful wordsmith'
The Academy of American Poets continues to praise Jillian Weise's The Book of Goodbyes, after announcing her win of the 2013 James Laughlin Award last week. Brenda Shaughnessy, previous Laughlin Award winner, and one of the judges for this year's award, speaks highly of Weise's second book of poetry: "Jillian Weise's crackling second collection is called The Book of Goodbyes—that's 'Goodbyes' plural. For it turns out there are so very many ways to say it. This is no ordinary see ya later/maybe next life, no firm and clear Dear John letter, though epistolary laments and last words pierce the reader as if Big Logos (the book's nickname for the beloved) broke our hearts as well as the speaker's. But this book's smart, endearing, self-consciously self-dramatizing speaker is the heartbreaking heroine of the book, and she is NOT HAVING IT. That is, if she's leaving, she'll do it fiercely and with such full-throated articulation and insight that it won't be easy to let her go... This book reminds us that the pain of love and loss, in the hands of a powerful wordsmith such as Weise, might just morph into passion, thrill, strength. And that love-suffering can bring us ever closer to lovability because through it we learn to connect, renew, transform." Click here to read the entire piece from the Academy of American Poets. Purchase your own copy of The Book of Goodbyes, available now at the BOA Bookstore.
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