A History of Too Much


Product Details

$17.95  $16.69
Red Hen Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.2 inches | 0.35 pounds

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About the Author

Adrianne Kalfopoulou is Associate Professor of Language and Literature at Hellenic American University in Athens, Greece. She is the author of two poetry collections, Wild Greens and Passion Maps, both from Red Hen Press. Her poems and essays have appeared in Hotel Amerika, Essays & Fictions, Room Magazine, Fogged Clarity, The Broome Street Review and Spoon River Poetry Review. She has taught creative writing and literature in the Creative Writing Program at New York University and at the University of Freiburg.


"Adrianne Kalfopoulou's luminous chronicle of love and debt in the time of the Greek Euro crisis, A History of Too Much, is powerful lyric testimony to the courage, humor, and brave resistance with which ordinary people faced augurs of loss in Greece, where the beauty of 'the oregano's thick perfume, the sapphire sea' remind them of a heritage of beauty and sacrifice, as the title poem puts it. 'It felt so much bigger than me, ' says the speaker of the magnificent hybrid poem that caps the collection, an assemblage of the voices and visions of historic change, which is, like History itself, a tour de force."--Cynthia Hogue, author of In June the Labyrinth

"The 'too much' that piques the reader's interest in the arresting title of these poems does double service: it sounds a cry of anguished exasperation uttered by this collection and comments on the way private life has been massively invaded by public upheavals. A startling theme, viewed with unexpected ambivalence, is hope--or rather 'the carcass of hope'--that in these poems seems fated to end with 'passionate disappointment.' As the immigrant daughter of political exiles, I grasp that theme viscerally as Kalfopoulou pursues it through marvelous use of sensory details; attention to the voices and narratives of individuals, named and specified; love poems both tender and erotically vivid; memories of the dead; encounters with the maimed but still-living; physical vestiges of World War II and its victims, and travel accounts full of foreboding amid strangers in nocturnal surroundings."--Rhina P. Espaillat, author of Playing at Stillness and Her Place in These Designs

"This is how the best contemporary poetry serves--as linguistic performance of an uncommonly attentive, empathetic soul making what sense it can of the vertiginous phenomena spinning before us. In terms of both content and style, these poems perform a necessary recognition of how the past is everywhere present, of how presence is ever imminent in what passes, and--most importantly--of how our every choice matters."--Scott Cairns, author of Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems
When I sit down to read Adrianne Kalfopoulou's poems or essays, I find myself sitting up straighter, more awake and attentive to the words in front of me, to the world. Her most recent book, A History of Too Much, responds to the Greek Euro crisis with tenderness, ferocity, and urgency that startles and dazzles. The images evoked and questions posed haven't left me--just as was the case with her essay "Transitional Object, a Grammar for Letting Go" that we had the honor of publishing. Adrianne was kind enough to chat with me via email about her creative process, working across genres, and the complex bittersweetness of her work. --Ashley Farmer