Original Fire: Selected and New Poems

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9780066209869: Original Fire: Selected and New Poems

A passionate book of poetry from New York Times bestselling author Louise Erdrich.

In this important collection, award-winning author Louise Erdrich has selected poems from her two previous books of poetry, Jacklight and Baptism of Desire, and has added nineteen new poems to compose Original Fire.

“These molten poems radiate with the ferocity of desire, and in them Erdrich does not spin verse so much as tell tales—of betrayal and revenge, of hunting and being hunted.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

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From the Back Cover:

In this important new collection, her first in fourteen years, award-winning author Louise Erdrich has selected poems from her two previous books of poetry, Jacklight and Baptism of Desire, and added new poems to compose Original Fire.

Profound and accessible, this collection anticipates and enlarges upon many of the themes, and even the characters, of Erdrich's prose. A sequence of story poems called "The Potchikoo Stories" recounts the life and afterlife of the questing trickster Potchikoo, echoing the wit and humanity of the inimitable, Nanapush, who appears in several of Erdrich's novels, most recently The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. Similarly, the group of poems called "The Butcher's Wife" contains the germ of Erdrich's most recent novel, The Master Butchers Singing Club.

A powerful new poem, "The Seven Sleepers," forms the core of an entire section of the book and is about the passionate search for the divine in all its forms. The final section, "Original Fire," travels through birth, ordinary life, loss, and redemption. These poems reveal that poetry emerges from what we fear most, and that memory is endurance.

About the Author:

Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Erdrich has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.

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