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Miss America

4.36 of 5 stars 4.36  ·  rating details  ·  87 ratings  ·  7 reviews
"The poems of Catherine Wagner are instantly sacramental, immediately mysterious. Showing songlines to Spicer's profanity and to Zukofsky's purest register, they move through musics entirely their own. There, MISS AMERICA finds a world wide-open but unharmed. There, Wagner proves the wisdom of divided hearts. She is a mage and a marvel. I believe she is our best."
Paperback, 68 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by Fence Books (first published 2001)
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Matt Walker
I've been savoring this for a few years now, and I'm finally done (just in time to check out her new book).

This is one of those bucket-of-water-in-the-face books that makes you excited about poetry again (if you were feeling not-so-good about poetry previously, which probably happens to any normal (or abnormal) human from time to time).
Catherine Wagner's poems are not the most understandable, but I liked them a lot. Her phrases are funny. She mixes types of speech and tones in a pleasing way. I want to find more of her books, and also get my own copy of this one because I borrowed this copy from the library. I also feel like I need to spend more time with these poems to understand them.

The line and stanza breaks were not orderly, which suited the tone and construction of the poems. The titles were often poems in a series (maga
Oct 28, 2007 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Poets
Reading this book changed my life. Really. My friend Tim let me borrow it, and not to sound too cheesy, but reading it made me feel driven to work. I really worked (am working) to become a poet because of this book. For a while I desparately imitated Cathy's style, but couldn't come close. The poems are unbelievably hip, but they also have the depth and resonance that makes you unconsciously memorize the lines and find them becoming a way into thinking about sex, gender roles, economics, the div ...more
This little book is a blast. Never mind that it's not really my sort of poetics (where's the punctuation?), I'm just reeling along in Wagner's wake. There's a lot of "oh no she didn't!" here (sample: "If I was President, / NONSTOP LICKY / I'm afraid I can't think without licky"), and then it's just a pleasure to open a book to the line "Still asleep in its bunny". I think I would go a little ways to hear Wagner read.
Really enjoying this with that weird kind of enjoyment relationship I experience with many FENCE books, in which I feel like maybe I shouldn't be enjoying it so much, especially the childishly scatological aspects, but I'm enjoying it very much anyway and it catalyzed me to write three new poems.
nicely done, creative, tight, but sometimes I grow weary of the "hip" tone of poems lately. I love irony, don't get me wrong, but does everyone have to be so "cool."
i (heart) catherine wagner's poetry.
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Catherine Wagner teaches creative writing at Miami University in Ohio. Her publications include Macular Hole (Fence Books, 2004), Imitating (Leafe Press, 2004), Exercises (811 Books, 2004), Miss America (Fence Books, 2001). Individual poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in Black Clock, Chicago Review, Fence, Five Fingers Review, New Review, and Soft Targets, among others, and in several anth ...more
More about Catherine Wagner...
Macular Hole My New Job Nervous Device: City Lights Spotlight Series No. 8 Articulate How everyone in the room is a representative of the world at large

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