The Octopus Museum: Poems

 
9780525655657: The Octopus Museum: Poems
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This collection of bold and scathingly beautiful feminist poems imagines what comes after our current age of environmental destruction, racism, sexism, and divisive politics.

Informed by Brenda Shaughnessy's craft as a poet and her worst fears as a mother, the poems in The Octopus Museum blaze forth from her pen: in these pages, we see that what was once a generalized fear for our children (car accidents, falling from a tree) is now hyper-reasonable, specific, and multiple: school shootings, nuclear attack, loss of health care, a polluted planet. As Shaughnessy conjures our potential future, she movingly (and often with humor) envisions an age where cephalopods might rule over humankind, a fate she suggests we may just deserve after destroying their oceans. These heartbreaking, terrified poems are the battle cry of a woman who is fighting for the survival of the world she loves, and a stirring exhibition of who we are as a civilization.

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Review:

Praise for The Octopus Museum

"Like octopuses, Shaughnessy's poems manage to be both fleshy and cerebral, concerned with a self that breathes through fragile skin. She offers up these beautiful innards through her words; they twist agony into acceptance only to return and be picked apart again, a recognizable cycle of motherhood and womanhood--humanhood, depending on your definition." --Nikki Shaner-Bradford, The Paris Review

"An immersive tour of social and ecological calamities, as well as an elegy for the present." --Matthew Johnstone, BookPage

"A highly original look at the world as it is today and the dangers we seem intent on inflicting upon ourselves . . . Shaughnessy writes startling poems that are both intellectually wide-ranging and emotionally riveting." --Ginny Lowe Connors, New York Journal of Books

"Musical, expressive lines that triumph in their complexity and grace . . . With an unparalleled ear for language, Shaughnessy excels at making the tragic transcendent." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A breakthrough book . . . Ambitious in concept and structure." --Nick Ripatrazone, The Millions

About the Author:

BRENDA SHAUGHNESSY was born in Okinawa, Japan, and grew up in Southern California. She is the author of four books of poetry, including So Much Synth, Human Dark with Sugar--winner of the James Laughlin Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award--and Our Andromeda, which was a New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of 2013. She is an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University, Newark. She lives in New Jersey.

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