Bed of Impatiens
Katie Hartsock (Author)
Able Muse Press
November 28, 2016
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.34 inches | 0.0 pounds
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About the Author
Katie Hartsock was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and has lived in Cincinnati, Ann Arbor, and Chicago. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Comparative Literary Studies from Northwestern University. Recipient of the 2015 Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets, she is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Hotels, Motels, and Extended Stays and Veritas Caput. Her poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Massachusetts Review, Southwest Review, RHINO, Measure, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Midwestern Gothic, among other journals, and in the anthology Down to the Dark River: Poems about the Mississippi River (Louisiana Literature Press, 2015). She is an assistant professor of English at Oakland University (MI).
Has American poetry ever produced a fresher, savvier, grittier, more elegant, and drop-dead formally exhilarating sequence than Katie Hartsock's "Hotels, Motels, and Extended Stays"? If so, I've yet to see it. Hartsock is as deft (and loving) with the vulgarities of truck stop rent-by-the-hour as with the secret wit of rhyme, or the venerables of Homeric epic: her range and her inventiveness appear to know no limit. And this is just a fraction of what bursts to life in Bed of Impatiens. I'm dazzled by the sheer bounty of it. -Linda Gregerson, author of Prodigal: New and Selected Poems, 1976 to 2014 Like Rene Magritte I want to paint "This is not a first book" under this first book. It is Lolita all grown up and taking us on a cross-country tour of the motels she stayed in with Humbert. It's St. Augustine as Dennis Rodman, elbowing us out of position underneath God's basket. But it's not a cacophony of surrealism. Ms. Hartsock's classical training-her knowledge and powerful rhythms-is the ground, the spine of this book (pun intended); but the excitement is watching the ancient and the contemporary meet in an explosion of true Form. -James Cummins, author of Still Some Cake Katie Hartsock's book of poems Bed of Impatiens is, for a first volume, unusually broad in its range and fierce in its attitudes. Although her title suggests a pretty pastoral, that is not where her taste leads her. Instead, her characteristic vantage includes landscapes derelict and macabre, like the flooded grave in the first poem, and the endless highways of the US, with their extended-stay motels and the ghosts that inhabit them. Hartsock is a sharp and clever reader of the books of nature and of art, yet writes in nobody's shadow. -Mary Kinzie, author of California Sorrow What truth to find in a world whose rivers "we cannot swim in and no/ cannot drink the water/ cannot imagine that," a land of "seedless sweetness" and dank motels that are its monuments to transience? Katie Hartsock's answer in her ambitious first collection, Bed of Impatiens, is to wander and "let the weather in," to keep recalibrating her position in an ever-shifting poetic landscape. "I have felt the bliss," Hartsock testifies, ever the truth-seeker, ever the denier, "and the burning too." -Lee Sharkey, author of Calendars of Fire"