Poetry Book Club: Milkweed Smithereens by Bernadette Mayer
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A career-spanning bouquet of poems by the peerless and inimitable Bernadette Mayer
Milkweed Smithereens gathers lively, wickedly smart, intimate, and indelible Bernadette Mayer poems: the volume ranges from brand-new nature poems, pastiches, sequences, epigrams, and excerpts from her Covid Diary and Second World of Nature to early poems and sonnets found in the attic or rooted out in the UC San Diego archive.
"As an offering of selected works removed from all context, Mayer’s newest poetry collection reads like a glimpse into a vivacious mind rankled by incessant stillness and external distractions....Bracing and carnal, Mayer provides an idiosyncratic way to acknowledge changes in contemporary consciousness while framing her work in a new and dynamic light."
― J. Howard Rosier, Vulture
"Mayer quotes Vladimir Nabokov, in The Gift: “I seem to remember my future works, although I don’t even know what they will be about.” In its newness, its remembrance, and its diaristic now, Milkweed Smithereens is a doggedly gorgeous expression of that peculiar, clairvoyant temporality."
― Brian Dillon, 4Columns