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The Stranger Manual

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  92 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Catie Rosemurgy's second collection, The Stranger Manual, is a wild rush across the American grain. The poems follow an unlikely character named Miss Peach, an unpredictable, cartoonish shapeshifter, who emerges onto the page dragging the myth of the individual, various gender scripts, and the grand tradition of the poetic persona along with her. She becomes an outsider
Paperback, 88 pages
Published December 22nd 2009 by Graywolf Press (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 03, 2012 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, poetry
Perfect example of what I consider dangerous poetry.

Few of my favourites:

excerpt from: Things That Didn’t Work

Touching, seriousness, snow.
The short list of lovers anyone has ever had, both of whom
have turned into long, quiet rivers.
Geraniums and their bruises that ruin
the clean edges of summer. The mother wiping
her son’s cheek with spit.
Picture frames. Targets. The psychological
boundaries described in books.
Any shape or line whatsoever.

God, as Quoted by Two Adulterers

Let no air ever come betwee
Jan 02, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
Catie Rosemurgy's first collection of poems, "My Favorite Apocalypse" remains one of my favorite poetry collections of all time, and so I was extremely excited to read her second book. I admire Rosemurgy's approach in using "characters" as part of her own voice, and this collection centers around the character "Miss Peach." While Miss Peach's poems did not immediately grab me the way the Billy and Grace poems did from "MFA," there was a certain authority in the voice that I really enjoyed. Each ...more
Jul 01, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Every line a surprise.
Chris Schaeffer
Jan 04, 2011 Chris Schaeffer rated it it was amazing
Weird, meat-colored poetry with lipstick on.
Jan 23, 2011 Brenda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Note: The review box is not allowing me to maintain the long lines of the original in this first excerpt.

Excerpt 1:

"She explains to several generations
of Princess-Cruise addicts behind the makeup counter that she's looking for a lip color

she can call Too Long in the Pool, or perhaps Why Did I Eat That? Her face is bound
to keep popping up here and there, underneath her lover and behind

the things she says. Beauty is for maple trees. When people look at her,
Miss Peach wants each of them to worry:
May 10, 2010 Matt rated it it was amazing
I was, as the stars suggest, pretty ecstatic about this book. It's just one of those that falls into my sweet spot, where all kinds of things that delight and surprise me come together.

The conceit of this book length collection of poems is that there is a woman, Mrs. Peach, who is incredible ugly, and who lives in a small town where she doesn't quite fit in. All the poems, then, are fragments of Peach's experiences in the town, or the town's experience of her.

That said, this is about as far from
Aug 26, 2015 Ynna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
One of those anthologies that reminded me why I love to read poetry. Maybe I liked it so much because there's parts of Miss Peach I see in myself, or at least in experiences I've had. My favorite poems were of course the ones about relationships and love, which I guess you could argue were all of them? Whatever, here are my favorite lines:

Maybe one body is simply insufficient.
So they change their minds and decide
to stand by one another's side for years.
They bring flowers and carpet and children
Aug 31, 2011 Stella rated it really liked it
Something of John Berryman's Henry from the Dream Songs comes through in the character of Miss Peach. But Miss Peach is by far creepier (in a good way), more grotesque, and absolutely huggable. Rosemurgy has a strong command of form and transforming images.
Apr 22, 2014 Rita rated it really liked it
The use of titles in the collection is incredible. The persona, Miss Peach, functions to allow Rosemurgy to explore uncharted territory first hand. Very funny, truthful, and insightful.
Sep 11, 2016 Lindsay rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, adult
I really liked the idea of it, and a few of the poems really struck me, but overall it just wasn't for me...
Michael Krauszer
Dec 04, 2012 Michael Krauszer rated it liked it
Hard but interesting book of poetry. Don't expect to fully comprehend every poem (maybe that's the point?). Rosemurgy's book definitely has a postmodern flavor to it, yet her poems ring with truth and even humor. Pay close attention to Miss Peach, the main character within the poems, along with the town she lives in, Gold River
Aug 17, 2010 Danielle rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
I expect better from Greywolf.
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Mar 27, 2010
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Catie Rosemurgy is the author of the poetry collections The Stranger Manual and My Favorite Apocalypse. Her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and Best American Poetry. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."
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“Human beings get no practice
at staying. We have no special limbs for it. Once we commit
to being still, darling, it’s all we ever do.”
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