Nickole Brown's Fanny Says was recently reviewed by Lambda Literary, as a recent collection that expresses "documentary impulses in contemporary poetry." "Fanny Says delights and dazzles at every turn," says reviewer Julie R. Enszer. "In these poems, Brown finds the space and time to explore her own family and the South as an imagined location. In the tradition of great lesbian writers such as Dorothy Allison, Fannie Flagg, June Arnold and Rita Mae Brown, Nickole Brown spins a yarn that is at once fantastical and believable, one that leaves us, as readers, yearning for more. . . . In these poems, she interrogates language with such a keen eye and such an exacting ear that I simply marveled at her perspicacity. Many other poems begin 'Fanny Says' and offer a modern-day etiquette guide to readers with a blend of both earnestness and irony. Ultimately, one of the most striking aspects of Fanny Says is how deftly Brown presents binaries as paradoxes: Southern femininity with Southern masculinity, Southern hospitality with Southern cruelty, Southern politeness with Southern plain speech. In the end, I was as charmed by these poems as I was provoked, and that is an extraordinary combination." "Brown delivers poetic mastery with extraordinary craft and control of language, images, line and diction." Compared with Jane Summer's Erebus, the review calls both collections "striking" in their ability to locate "lesbianism in the nautilus of these narratives." "Lesbianism never reaches the center chamber yet dwells in the outer parts of the shell," says the review. "Never announced in the pearly exterior, it lives within to be discovered as a secret delight. . . . In Erebus and Fanny Says, Summer and Brown respectively gather language and images from a world much greater than their individual selves. . . . Both are rich and complex poetry collections that will delight readers." "Both are exciting contemporary poetic engagements." Click here to read the full Lambda Literary review. Fanny Says is available for purchase at the BOA Bookstore.
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