Rachel Contreni Flynn

Rachel Contreni Flynn was born in Paris in 1969 and raised in a small farming town in Indiana. She got her BA from Indiana University in Bloomington where she majored in journalism and history. She received her MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College in 2001. Her first book, Ice, Mouth, Song, was selected by Stephen Dunn as the 2003 winner of the Dorset Prize. She has recorded her work for the Bloomington/Normal Public Radio station, been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and was featured as The Spoon River Review’s Illinois Poet in 2005. She also received an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship. Flynn works at Fortune Brands, Inc., a Fortune 500 consumer products company. She teaches poetry courses and workshops occasionally, and lives in Mundelein, Illinois with her husband, Patrick, and their children, Grace and Noah.

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Rachel Contreni Flynn

Publication Date: April 1, 2010

$18.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-475-7


In this haunting, intense, and lyrical new collection of poems by Rachel Contreni Flynn, we meet two sisters growing up in farmland America until they are separated by the older girl’s illness. The younger girl travels to the Maine coast where the radio reports “the discovery of a human tongue on the beach.” Tongue is a story as harrowing and magical as any Old World fairy tale, told in a voice that is at once frank and gentle. Flynn has crafted a book full of “wilderness, mystery, magic,” as her poems confront time and again the myths and memories of childhood and ask us to name what nourishes, changes, sustains, and saves us. Sensuous, inventive and startling images cohere into narrative: here, anger is a piano, God is a Matchbox car, loyalty is a wild pig. At its essence, Tongue is about the unending complexity and sheer stubbornness of love: “so difficult, so generous, so fabulous.”