Peggy Shumaker reviews Allegheny, Monangahela

Allegheny, Monongahela Erinn Batykefer. Red Hen (CDC, dist.), $16.95 (88p) ISBN 978-1-59709-134-3

Close to the bone, Erinn Batykefer’s poems — sharp-edged as O’Keeffe’s paintings, skeletons visible and harrowing — are harsh and devastating torrents of rage, love, and misdirected desire. Poems tangle with a grandfather’s murder, a family’s violence, the wildness of sex, love indulged or denied, scouring to bedrock any easy assumptions. Her poems are floodwaters, her poems are the river’s skin after rain. Necessary and vibrant, they help us savor our flawed and damaged world. Here is an important new voice in American poetry.

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