The Explosive Expert's Wife
Wisconsin Poetry Series
Somewhere in the Middle / East, you sip coffee while I sleep . . .
Ronald Wallace, Series Editor
Winner, Sheila Margaret Motton Prize, New England Poetry Club
In sparse, powerful lines, Shara Lessley recalls an expat's displacement, examines her experience as a mother, and offers intimate witness to the unfolding of the Arab Spring. Veering from the strip malls and situation rooms of Washington to the markets and mines of Amman, Lessley confronts the pressures and pleasures of other cultures, exploring our common humanity with all its aggressions, loves, biases, and contradictions.
“Lessley guides us along the knife-edge of a country on the edge of wars. An ex-pat Penelope wondering about her own Odysseus singed in ash, she keenly and empathically witnesses not only her own vulnerability as a young American mother in Amman but also courageous women around herfrom Jordan's all-female demining team to an accused terrorist's wife.”
“These poems teach us that there is astonishment, not just fear, in each moment of displacement. I am hooked on Shara Lessley's music of adventure, intimacy of detail, the great sweeping largesse of address across continents, across ranges of emotion. Wherever you find yourself in this powerful collection, you will learn to see the world slightly differently.”
“That The Explosive Expert’s Wife does not provide an escape from a brutal world is part of its comfort, and makes it a text the reader can carry with them into the world, with its attentions to violence and tenderness resonant with human experience.”
“Painstakingly curated poems of psychological insight, lyric intensity, formal dexterity, and beauty. . . . The poems in Lessley’s book confirm Seamus Heaney’s conviction that one function of poetry is ‘to write a place into existence.'”
—LA Review of Books
Of Related Interest
LC: 2017042896 PS
96 pp. 6 x 9