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Seven Miles Deep

Pam Garvey's Seven Miles Deep is a poetic Bayeux Tapestry of imagery that treks forward through an interwoven, contiguous narrative flushed out by just enough angst to make it a little wild. But the Look is not enough for Garvey who orchestrates dissonant constructs and varied rhythms with an affect as inspiring as the most unencumbered moments of Plath while imbued with the factual lush of Marianne Borusch. These poems struggle with a sense of their own tradition, simultaneously performing and yet upsetting the narrative, at times talky, lyric. I am struck by the courage of her interrogative, What did the Virgin know ...? With what hands have you strength enough ...? Who created God? Who grabs a meat cleaver / to sever hair? I am encouraged by this collection and see that craft still lives in these chiseled poems. We find in this book the coil's forward momentum of -Marriage- and yet the hush, hush, hush of -Pain Tolerance, - a transposition of hard and soft that says much of the way these poems, even in their balance, thwart expectations. -Ruth Ellen Kocher, winner of the PEN/Open Book Award and author of Third Voice, Ending in Planes, Goodbye Lyric, and domina Un/blued
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