O Lady, Speak Again

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$14.95  $13.90
Signature Books
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.9 X 0.3 inches | 0.25 pounds
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About the Author
Dayna Patterson is a photographer, textile artist, and irreverent bardophile. She's the author of Titania in Yellow (Porkbelly Press, 2019) and If Mother Braids a Waterfall (Signature Books, 2020). Honors include the Association for Mormon Letters Poetry Award and the 2019 #DignityNotDetention Poetry Prize judged by Ilya Kaminsky. Her creative work has appeared in EcoTheo, Kenyon Review, and Poetry. She's the founding editor (now emerita) of Psaltery & Lyre and a co-editor of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry. She lives with her husband and two daughters in a little patch of forest in the Pacific Northwest.
"Truly a triumph, this collection is a soaring, seething, singing achievement of poetic excellence. In, O Lady, Speak Again, Dayna Patterson gives us meticulously crafted poems without sacrificing a single breath of emotional dynamism. In the voices of Shakespeare's lady characters, Patterson deftly evokes the depth and complexity of responses to the burdens and griefs of being a woman held in the confines of a patriarchal society, governed by an all-male religious hierarchy. These poems are both haunting and soothing in their questions and their graceful, ladylike rage." --Rena Priest, Washington State Poet Laureate (2021-2023)

"What do you get when you blend Shakespeare's canon of female characters with an already-­steaming brew of the personal and culturalisms of Mormondom? O Lady, Speak Again is a love song to feminine power and artistry--power both practical and metaphysical, emergent and handed-down. Patterson repurposes with such insight that it feels like sorcery: a sprinkle of weird enlivens the familiar with mystery, and a dash of familiar grants us access to the strange." --Nano Taggart, editor, Sugar House Review

"O Lady, Speak Again does its work in a glory, a tumble, then a flood, of characters, versions, and voicings. The beginning poem 'Dramatis Personae, ' which limns the territory and the method of the collection, shows us that the urgent appeal of the title--that the Lady (mother, goddess, enchantress, witch) must speak from the parched silence to which she has been consigned--requires an upending to be fulfilled: that the world, to be made fecund, musical, brilliant again, must receive 'a blue deluge' of the Lady's voice. The speakers of the poems inhabit gorgeous languages and a multitude of stories, many drawn from Shakespeare; Dayna Patterson embroiders the lacunae in her sources and insists on retellings and revisions in this miracle of a book. In a way, like Prospero in The Tempest, Patterson orchestrates madness, terror, and catastrophic loss, into reconciliation, claiming that power as her own deep, decidedly female, and restorative, magic." --Lisa Orme Bickmore, Utah Poet Laureate