"Jean Gallagher plunges us into the mystery-shrouded chthonic rites of Demeter and Persephone in a stunning postmodern Homeric hymn, stepping into the company of other reinventors of the ancient myths like H.D., Anne Carson, and Louise Gluck. In her haunting, spare, mystical enactments of ancient rites of loss, descent into the earth and underearth, and ecstatic return, she leaves readers like one of the initiates at Eleusis who 'came out of the mystery hall feeling like a stranger to myself.' We're ungrounded by these poems, cast among the mysteries and ecstacies: reading Start, I felt--as Gallagher's Persephone herself says--'the ground I never knew / could open did.'"
FIELD Poetry Series #27
Oberlin College Press
This Minute is a connected whole, in which the verse is driven by strong intellectual excitement, evident in the energetic movement of the lines and in a vocabulary that switches easily from the colloquial to the exact. There is an urgent voice, felt close at hand. And there is a skill in handling and matching the size of a poem to its subject that makes each invigorating to read―one arrives slightly out of breath. These poems convey a “metaphysical” meaning as well as a bodily intimacy. They are luminous, discovering rather than manufacturing their metaphors as the most exact way of speaking.
Winner of the Poets Out Loud Prize
Fordham University Press