If You Have to Go: Poems

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Product Details
$16.00  $14.88
Graywolf Press
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.9 X 0.3 inches | 0.2 pounds
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About the Author
Katie Ford is the author of three previous poetry collections: Blood Lyrics, Colosseum, and Deposition. The recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Levis Reading Prize, she teaches at the University of California, Riverside.

"Faith and doubt--in love, in God--course through Ford's powerful fourth book, anchored by a long sonnet sequence about the end of a marriage. 'It comes, then it goes, then it never was.'"--The New York Times Book Review

"There's a shadow looming over If You Have To Go--the poignantly-titled and brilliant collection of poetry from Katie Ford--and it's the dissolution of Ford's marriage. . . . She grasps for meaning in small objects, flickering moments of peace amidst the pain, and communion with the divine. That none of these seem to provide solace only makes her journey that much more devastating and beautiful."--The Portland Mercury

"Part threnody, part longing, all song. [If You Have to Go] is anchored by an extended crown of sonnets, which feel like pained and punctuated addresses to God, herself. . . . Ford's lines are impassioned, full of the terrible desire of doubt. . . . This book is a journey."--The Millions

"In Katie Ford's four-sectioned fourth collection, If You Have to Go, readers find themselves in indifferent rooms where the walls quit or remain standing regardless, like shrugs of the shoulder. The end of a marriage reveals the false promises believed since childhood--the kingdom--the house with a white-picket fence and 2.5 kid--is flimsy at best, a farce. . . . Her poems capture this stark truth: even as one's sorrow all encompasses, the rest of the world either changes or doesn't but it remains unmarked by that suffering."--Arkansas International

"[If You Have to Go] is nothing less than a full dramatic monologue with innuendo, philosophy, interior soliloquy. The spectrum of emotions ranges from dispassion, to passion, to acceptance, to inquiry, and disbelief, and more. A lesser poet would have descended into pity but Ford will have none of that when, instead, she can build a home from a kingdom of words to live in and rule magnificently."--Washington Independent Review of Books

"Katie Ford's ruminative poetry collection If You Have to Go transforms a failed marriage into soul-searching art. . . . These are poems of profound introspection, paring down one's voice to a skeleton of perception."--Shelf Awareness

"Ford explores and performs the work of mourning in [If You Have to Go], which traces the dissolution of a relationship and a home. . . . The emotional resonance remains constant with grief lightened by such auspicious moments as when the speaker declares, 'I am content because before me looms the hope of love.' Ford makes sense of sorrow by way of poetry."--Publishers Weekly

"[Katie] Ford becomes stronger with each book, and is among the best poets of our generation."--Shane McCrae

"[A] distinct and powerful voice in American poetry. . . . This is a complex, riveting, and heartbreaking book."--Jane Mead