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Dark Blonde: Poems

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Waring has worked as a neo-natal intensive care nurse and as Writer-in-Residence at Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C. Her first collection of poetry, Refuge, won the Associated Writing Program's Award for Poetry in 1989, the Washington Prize in 1991, and was cited by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of 1990. Her second collection Dark Blonde r ...more
Paperback, 88 pages
Published July 1st 1997 by Sarabande Books
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Jan 29, 2015 Jen rated it really liked it
This book was published in 1997. It was Waring's second book and a search on the internet leads me to believe it was her last. She is not even represented on the Poetry Foundation website or This is such a shame. It's a shame to see someone with talent and something worth saying stop writing. "Gripping" is not a word I would normally use to describe poetry but that word came to mind as I read through this book. These poems contain tension and suspense. Waring worked as a nurse and man ...more
Writer's Relief
Aug 08, 2013 Writer's Relief rated it it was amazing
Waring does not reflect on her emotions and present them in a neat little package. These poems are tumultuous and full of heat and rage. Her poetry is a battering ram to the heart, begging to be felt and understood. Many poets compose careful, precise language to surround an otherwise unexciting topic. There is something to be said for concocting a beautiful, enjoyable-to-read poem around a flower, bowl of fruit, or rainbow trout. But Belle Waring is not that poet, and DARK BLONDE is not that pe ...more
Sarabande Books
Jan 22, 2010 Sarabande Books rated it it was amazing
Winner of the First Annual Larry Levis Reading Prize and the 1997 Poetry Center Book Award

Recipient of the 1997 Poetry Center Book Award (SFSU) and the First Annual Levis Reading Prize
Aug 04, 2008 Nina rated it it was amazing
Reading Waring's poems is like listening to jazz-the words tumble forth, they slide and glide, tension builds.
Aug 28, 2016 Julene rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Read this book years ago and it is one of my favorite poetry books. She is a nurse and has some poignant professional poems that nurses love to share about their work.
Dec 26, 2015 Robin rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This collection was given to me as a birthday present and I have to say that I really enjoyed it - it was very visceral in a lot of places, focusing on a lot of medical scenarios and historical scenarios that peeled away to a deeper tenderness and poetic examination of life and loss. I loved that the work itself seemed almost conversational, narrative more than poetic, but still truly a work of poetry - it seemed less lost in poetic cliche or the weaving of images, and more like having a convers ...more
Mar 01, 2016 SmarterLilac rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I first read this magical, almost overwhelming book in the summer of 2004, a time when I was more vulnerable than ever before to the topics this book addresses--the misogyny and cruelty of the American healthcare system, poverty, oppression, the mortality of every person. Ah, memories. Kind it isn't, but Dark Blonde opened my eyes like never before to what poetry could do to make readers care about the problems we most want to avoid. How Belle Waring even managed to write these pieces is beyond ...more
Lauren Short
May 07, 2014 Lauren Short rated it liked it
Shelves: sarabande
Many of the medical-themed poems were wonderful. It made me wish the collection were more focused as a whole on that subject.
Mar 03, 2011 Antonia rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
This is powerful writing. Tough and tender. Many of these poems deal with difficult, even shocking, subject matter.

The voice is authentic, the language natural but intense. Amazing vocabulary. Literate. Jazzy. Informed by hard times, Some very gritty tales from the hospital (the narrator — and the author — is a nurse).

Nobody gets off easy — not the damaged, not the irresponsible and sometimes brutal perpetrators, not the observer (often a participant).

Belle Waring — oh, where is she now? I hop
Jun 17, 2015 Christine rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Urban romatics
Shelves: poetry, favorites
Hands down my favorite contemporary poet, Belle Waring tackles all kinds of stuff - teaching, working as a nurse, heartbreak, depression, alcoholic dads and feral children - with a jazzy intelligent coolness. I admit: I've ripped her off unabashedly in my own poetry.
Cindy Cunningham
May 23, 2010 Cindy Cunningham rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I love this poet--Greg Donovan turned me onto her about ten years ago and I keep hoping she'll write more. She is a nurse who writes poetry and her language and subject matter inspires me.
Sheri Mcclure baker
Jul 06, 2012 Sheri Mcclure baker rated it it was amazing
This may be my favorite book of poems. Waring's easy voice makes the painful and the beautiful accessible to us all.
Mar 27, 2015 X. rated it it was amazing
My favourite poetry find so far this year...

R.I.P. Belle Waring.
Dec 15, 2008 Hillbrooks rated it it was amazing
Simply said, Waring is my favorite female poet.
Steve Warnick
Steve Warnick rated it really liked it
Dec 22, 2015
Sass Brown
Sass Brown marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2015
Cristi Marchetti
Cristi Marchetti rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2015
Michael Schwager
Michael Schwager rated it really liked it
Aug 03, 2015
Erik Fritz
Erik Fritz rated it really liked it
May 06, 2015
Katrin marked it as to-read
Mar 21, 2015
Kurt Klopmeier
Kurt Klopmeier rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2015
Christine Bourie
Christine Bourie marked it as to-read
Feb 14, 2015
Barbara rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2015
Sherry H
Sherry H rated it really liked it
Dec 06, 2014
Kelley White
Kelley White rated it really liked it
Nov 13, 2014
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Eileen Rush rated it really liked it
Apr 18, 2016
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Sep 19, 2014
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Poetry Readers Ch...: Dark Blonde by Belle Waring 12 10 Feb 07, 2015 01:55PM  

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