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Catalog Archive / Fall 2020


Wisconsin Poetry Series
Edited by Ronald Wallace and Sean Bishop

“World building of the highest, most authentic order. The precise language of these poems lands us hard in the saddle of this singular midcentury, midwestern horse girl’s world––Kerr makes us see it, unflinchingly, as if it were our very own.”
—Celeste Gainey, author of The Gaffer

In these visceral poems, Diane Kerr reckons with dark trauma. Retracing memories from girlhood that she once felt compelled to keep secret, perspectives shift as the lens of adulthood brings the past into sharp clarity.

Moments are revealed in layers; we join the poet as she rides through fields on horseback, watches a woman testify on television, and comes to terms with her experiences of sexual abuse. Vivid recollections of emotionally charged minutiae—broken-in cowboy boots, the second button on a blouse, a housecoat patterned with pink begonias—remind us how even the smallest details can be fraught with both nostalgia and pain. Each poem wields power, with resonating narratives of fear and survival reminding us that suffering has no statute of limitations.

Inside the skull cage began years of battering to get out, gray layers winding around and around, tissue thin, accumulating, solidifying, impossible to penetrate. —Excerpt from “Timbered”


Diane Kerr is the author of Butterfly and a mentor for poets through the Madwomen in the Attic Creative Writing Program at Carlow University. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Mississippi Review, Pearl, and Poetry East, among others.




“Diane Kerr’s Perigee is a breathtaking sequence of poems about the primary, lifelong trauma of abuse. In often short stanzas of striking imagery and fearless voice, Kerr takes us inside the body and mind of a young girl. I’ve seen many poems about sexual abuse—but not these poems. The cumulative effect of this sequence is stunning. These ambitious and wise poems question the world and all of its turns and faces. This brave writer never veers off path, never wavers: Inside the skull cage/began years of battering to get out. Kerr reminds us of the fierce power of story, how it can shake us to the core, raise us up, and save us.”
—Jan Beatty, author of Jackknife



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Of Related Interest


If the House
Molly Spencer


How the End First Showed
D.M. Aderibigbe

Perigee: Cover showing  a crater mottled celestial body taking up the entire sky, with a dark horizon towards the bottom of the page, upon which the silhouette of a person riding a horse is situated.

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October 2020
112 pp. 6 x 9

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Paper $16.95
ISBN 9780299330248
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