spare change (Paperback)
In her debut poetry collection, spare change, Irene Cooper speaks to the dead and the living through sideways sonnets and fragmented form. This is a book, says TC Tolbert, "...that holds at its center the multiplicities of grief ("permission to speak/to the open wound" of a dead brother, a family fractured by alcoholism, abuses of power, even the routine wonder of raising children) inside language that refuses sentimentality and is, instead, experiential. In a world where honesty is surprising (and figuratively, and sometimes literally, death-defying), here is a writer who insists on the truth, demanding that we attend to the turns, the edges, the possible slippages of individual words. It is work and it is worth it. Take heart in this daring. When I read these poems I feel I am in the presence of presence ("to believe/to loiter") - which is to say the muck of it: love." Boyer Rickel adds, "Fearless in their desire to arrive at difficult truths, these poems are bracing, generous-and beautiful. You will not forget them."