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My Father's Kites

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  33 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The centerpiece of Allison Joseph's sixth full-length poetry collection is a sequence of thirty-four sonnets about losing her father. "Superbly executed, part family history and part homage, Allison Joseph strings the frail human voices across the forceful lines of her verse to summon her absent father back from the dead." -- Maura Stanton
Paperback, 80 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Steel Toe Books
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Allison Joseph is well known among American poets as the editor-in-chief of the respected literary journal Crab Orchard Review. Long before online social networking became de rigueur for all aspiring literati, Joseph had already harnessed the World Wide Web as a tool for building a stronger and more humane literary community: for years, she has served as the moderator of the writers' list-serve CRWROPPS, and her warm, gregarious, generous-spirited presence on social media continues to inspire th ...more
Mar 13, 2010 Ruth rated it really liked it
Shelves: recently-read
I especially like the title poem with its "crude assemblages of paper sacks and twine," experiences of kite-flying that leave the speaker with "this unsated need" to send herself "into the untenable."

Joseph's poems weave a story of family love, terrible disappointments (her father reproaching her at graduation for the illustrious award she won: "How they give a little black girl like you a Jim Crowe Ransom prize?"), making do, & coming to terms with loss as we all must. Her coming to terms i
Sandy Longhorn
Mar 15, 2010 Sandy Longhorn rated it really liked it
My Father's Kites is a beautiful, elegiac collection that seeks to uncover the often difficult relationship between a father and his daughter, the speaker of the poems. This difficult relationship is seen through the lens of the father's death, although the poems touch on the speaker's entire life with and without her father. In the shadows, there waits the figure of the mother who died years earlier, adding to the depth of the speaker's losses. Nearly all of the poems are formal, including vill ...more
Gerry LaFemina
Aug 03, 2015 Gerry LaFemina rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
In My Father's Kites, Allison Joseph writes amazingly personal poems in a smart and elegant prosody. Composed of mostly sonnets (with some vilanelles, a pontoum, and other verse forms thrown in for good measure), these poems remind us how relevant, modern, and fresh formal poems can be.
Nov 28, 2014 Kristina rated it it was amazing
Allison Joseph explores her relationship with her father, the emotions and thoughts that followed his death, and other complicated family sorts of things. I can relate to so many of the poems in this collection and it is definitely one I will return to in the future.
Feb 20, 2015 Jason rated it really liked it
quiet poems, but powerful
May 19, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing
Allison Joseph's newest book is a beautiful collection of poetic form. It's also a collection of elegies for her late father. Yet somehow, she never falls into the trap of melodrama that poems of mourning could bring. This may be Joseph's best collection, yet!
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Allison Joseph (born 1967) is an American poet, editor and professor. She is author of six poetry collections, most recently, My Father's Kites: Poems (Steel Toe Books, 2010).

Born in London to parents of Jamaican heritage, Allison Joseph grew up in Toronto, Canada, and the Bronx. She graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A., and from Indiana University with an M.F.A. She teaches at Southern Illin
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