Publisher description for Cusp / Jennifer Grotz.


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Counter Entre chien et loup -- between dog and wolf. This French colloquialism for twilight informs Jennifer Grotz's debut poetry collection, Cusp. A winner of this year's Bakeless Prize for poetry, Grotz explores the peculiar territory of middleness -- neither dark nor light, not quite familiar but not fully unknown. It is a place with its own dangers, its own knowledge: road signs in a French tunnel remind drivers of their headlights in the temporary darkness; a scratchy recording of the last castrato highlights art's uneasy coupling of inspiration and artifice. Personal, thoughtful, inquisitive, and introspective, these poems reveal Grotz's varied influences, from the "quilted fields" of west Texas to a jazz club in Paris, from a sexy rodeo rider to Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It is the dizziness of the foreign and the strangeness of what's all around that gives Cusp its energy, its vitality, signaling the arrival of a distinctive new voice in American verse.

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