Taking Notes (Paperback)

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Here is a poet who dares to venture beyond the familiar terrain of shadows and regret, stepping free instead into the dangerous territory of radiance. But Beth Kress is no blind optimist. She focuses her lens on the loss of her brother and the bullet-riddled streets of Sarajevo as steadily as she does on the ordinary, gorgeous banalities of motherhood, friendship, and family. Her poems are lustily generous, issuing an urgent invitation to her reader - in sorrow as well as happiness, or simply in repose - to rejoice with her.

-Frannie Lindsay, author of If Mercy and Our Vanishing

In Taking Notes, Beth Kress pays close and loving attention to the narrative details of family history and to her own. She often writes poems of endings and beginnings, as early in the book "The Trunk" imagines her ancestors' painful departure from England, their new life and discoveries in America. Later, she narrates her own transitions with humor, honesty and celebration. She has a gift for the telling detail: the single tin mailbox listing slightly, as seen by a lonely young mother in "On Simonton Road;" the stranger in "Going Down," who falls in the subway: a knapsack like that could break your heart. "What I Brought to Provincetown" could be an index and guide to this whole moving book. Kress didn't bring a compass there, but she did indeed bring a heart.

-Susan Donnelly, author of Capture the Flag and The Finding Day

Beth Kress's poems embrace us in the sweep of their celebration. In clear and fluent language she plumbs inherited experience: the gesture of hands, the flavor of childhood. Reading this collection feels like walking with a friend. Her lines can call up the bud of a baby's mouth, or stretch back miles and generations. In and through them all runs that sense of the current that connects us, tidal, overwhelming. These poems, like the author's memories, hover beside us in kitchens or countrysides, "dusting off their flour-coated hands/across the decades." They pull us in, "the distance between us/much thinner than we thought."

-Jessie Brown, author of Lucky and What We Don't Know We Know

Product Details
ISBN: 9781646623372
ISBN-10: 1646623371
Publisher: Finishing Line Press
Publication Date: November 6th, 2020
Pages: 44
Language: English