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I Was the Jukebox

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I Was the Jukebox




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I Was the Jukebox by Sandra Beasley
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From Publishers Weekly More fun than most recent books, Beasley's second collection can also get quite serious: in the best parts, the poet pretends she is any number of nonhuman things a jukebox, an orchid, the Egyptian god Osiris, an eggplant (in a sestina), grains of sand. She also writes love poems to big ideas: Love Poem for College begins You hit on me. You hit on everyone. Beasley portrays the sometimes chaotic landscape between sex and love, youth and adulthood, the young men and women who hope for everything and the grownups who settle for less. For an hour I forgot my fat self./ My neurotic innards, my addiction to alignment, says the piano, remembering when she was played. In Another Failed Poem About Music, even the name of a percussion instrument, triangle... is a perfect betrayal. Beasley can sound regretful, but also flirtatious: You are the loneliest of the three bears, she says in Love Poem for Wednesday, hoping/ to come home and find someone in your bed. If Beasley's conceits owe something to Kenneth Koch, her tone and her subjects might place her with chick lit, too: this is a book that could go a long way.

Author Biography

Sandra Beasley is the author of Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a memoir and cultural history of food allergies, as well as three poetry collections: Count the Waves; I Was the Jukebox, which won the 2009 Barnard Women Poetry Prize, selected by Joy Harjo; and Theories of Falling, which won the New Issues Poetry Prize judged by Marie Howe. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, Tin House, and The Best American Poetry 2010. Her nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post Magazine, Oxford American, and Psychology Today. Awards for her work includes a 2015 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, two fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers. Beasley serves on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at the University of Tampa. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she coordinates literary events for the Arts Club of Washington. For more information, please visit, follow her on Twitter @SandraBeasley, or check out her Author page on Facebook.
Release date Australia
April 5th, 2010
Country of Publication
United States
WW Norton & Co
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