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Every Dress a Decision

4.48  ·  Rating Details ·  44 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Published by Blue Begonia Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Lenora Good
Nov 18, 2015 Lenora Good rated it it was amazing
I took a poetry workshop from Ms. Austen, our Washington State Poet Laureate. What a delightful two hours. After, I bought her book, curious to read her work, which was not used in the workshop.

She mentioned some personal life stories during the workshop, and this book tells a little about them. Many people I know read a book of poetry willy-nilly, they enjoy picking up the book and opening it to a poem. I tend to start at the beginning and read to the end. The beginning tells us it is in memory
Jun 20, 2011 Sue rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I was lucky to be able to attend a reading Elizabeth Austen gave. If anyone has a chance to attend one of her readings--GO! She is a wonderful reader & this collection is real treasure that I've already read twice & will go back to it often.
Kris Bigalk
Apr 21, 2012 Kris Bigalk rated it it was amazing
This was my first encounter with Elizabeth Austen's work, and I'm very impressed. Austen's control of language, rhythm, and pacing is unmatched by many contemporary poets, with each word and phrase carefully crafted and turned exactly right. A set of poems centering on the death of the poet's brother tie the collection together, with a unifying theme of connection and disconnection from loved ones and place. As the final lines of "Where Currents Meet" state:

...You could wait your whole
life for s
Jun 26, 2011 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
This book made me stand in the kitchen, transfixed, where I read it straight through upon opening the package, as I say in this review for Prick of the Spindle:

I had read some of these poems in her two earlier chapbooks, but to find them here in the new and fuller context was just amazing. This is the kind of poetry book with a narrative center, a troubled and troubling brother/sister relationship, but how that works out, or gets further complicated, is qu
Sep 21, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Jane Hirshfield uses the word “pellucid” to describe Elizabeth’s Austen’s poems in Every Dress a Decision. It’s a beautiful sounding word and so befitting of Austen’s poems. Its definition - admitting maximum passage of light without diffusion or distortion – aptly applies. Austen’s collection of poems is about loss, intimacy, and reconciling with the past, with former selves and betrayed trusts. Loss is palpable in the multiple pieces titled “What is Known,” each successive poem, spread at ...more
Lindsey Kay
Dec 10, 2014 Lindsey Kay rated it it was amazing
I first heard of Elizabeth Austen years ago, when we read several of her poems in a class I was taking at the time. Since then I've seen her read her poetry several times, and I've attended a workshop she was presenting as the poet laureate of Washington State. I've always been impressed with her candor, her sensitivity and her intelligence. I'm glad that when I actually purchased her book that my enjoyment was in no way diminished.

Honestly, I regret not having gotten around to it more quickly.
Nov 08, 2015 R. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Fave poems were "The Girl Who Goes Alone" (how women, who go camping alone, are often given a litany of oft-bizarre warnings about the dangers of women who go, fates of women who've gone, camping alone) and the found-text "Dr. Schnarch's Married People's Sex Manual" (a fun 1-pager that inspires one to return to those old relationship/sex/health paperback spinner-rack manuals of the 1960s and 1970s, and scan and pan for hilarious gold) and "Between Floors" (one of several poems that seem to ...more
Jan 09, 2016 Molly rated it really liked it
Shelves: poems
This is a lovely, lovely book, full of fully felt moments and honest portrayals of difficult situations: childlessness by choice and the complicated emotions that accompany that, the sudden loss of a brother, the experience of being female and the messages we receive in society.

I would consider slight shifts in organization in the book, though I don't know if those shifts would make it read better at all. The first section is so tight that the other sections are held up--well, interestingly in c
Heid E.
May 21, 2012 Heid E. rated it it was amazing
What do we want more than to hear someone say what we have almost thought ourselves, but could not fully express? To say a thing honestly, deftly, and with the love of language on her lips is Elizabeth Austen's accomplishment in Every Dress a Decision. Her longer poem "The Girl Who Goes Alone," simply makes this book. GO, if you have a chance to hear Elizabeth give a reading. The grace and strength of her performance is the benediction we all crave.
Apr 28, 2014 Jane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This book of poetry really affected me. I recently went to a reading by Elizabeth Austen, who is poet laureate of the state of Washington. She is an amazing performer who writes amazing poetry. I just had to buy her book after the reading, and I was not disappointed. She is the perfect poet to represent our state!
Dec 08, 2014 Cara rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I've had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth Austen, and I'm sure that also contributes. I can hear her voice in my head as I read these. There is a lot of sorrow, but also a lot of hope. A fascinating, occasionally disturbing, moving collection.

Still, my favorite is "The Girl Who Goes Alone"
Mark Valentine
Jan 31, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it really liked it
Austen's poems shirk convention, wrap fidelity around her little finger, punctuate veracity, and probe sentiment for a whiff. Not for nothing is she the reigning Washington State Poet Laureate.
Cathy Douglas
Mar 05, 2012 Cathy Douglas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2012
Oh my! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! "The Girl Who Goes Alone" is worth the price of the book.
Risa Denenberg
Risa Denenberg rated it really liked it
Nov 09, 2014
Christopher rated it it was amazing
Mar 10, 2015
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May 03, 2016
Nell Abercrombie
Nell Abercrombie rated it really liked it
Apr 18, 2015
Holli Hanson
Holli Hanson rated it it was amazing
Dec 04, 2015
Lillian rated it really liked it
Oct 27, 2015
Maureen rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2012
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Dec 02, 2016
Rachel rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2014
Jenny Benson
Jun 15, 2014 Jenny Benson rated it it was amazing
Wow. A new favorite.
Annemarie rated it it was amazing
Jul 24, 2015
Ashupuncture rated it it was amazing
Sep 09, 2012
Steph Anne
Steph Anne rated it it was amazing
Apr 23, 2015
Emily rated it really liked it
Jan 19, 2016
Midge rated it it was amazing
Jun 19, 2011
Jeannine rated it it was amazing
Jun 10, 2012
Pamela rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2015
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