Saint Monica
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Saint Monica

4.71 of 5 stars 4.71  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Mary Biddinger's poetry collection Saint Monica reinvents the saint as an everyday girl coming of age in the rust belt Midwest. These poems explore temptation, transgression, and heavenly presences in a landscape that is far from holy.
Paperback, First, 40 pages
Published June 21st 2011 by Black Lawrence Press (first published May 2011)
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"the child of those tears shall never perish"

The much admired and published poet Mary Biddinger has in many ways reinvented poetic communication in her most recent collection from Black Lawrence Press, SAINT MONICA. Biddinger has usurped the persona of that most humble of saints, Saint Monica, the patron saint of abuse victims, alcoholics, alcoholism, difficult marriages, disappointing children, homemakers, housewives, married women, mothers, victims of adultery, victims of unfaithfulness, victi...more
Robert Beveridge
Mary Biddinger, Saint Monica (Black Lawrence Press, 2011)

I'm writing this early in 2012, so I can say it with confidence: Saint Monica was the single best book I read in 2011 (final count: 272, with this being the third of those books to get five stars), not only living up to but surpassing the promise of Prairie Fever. From first page (“The owls would like to unwrap//her, as owls do, always looking/for the next loose shutter, the goldfinch/bathing in a pile of spilled parmesan//in the convenien...more
Through the persona of Saint Monica and set in the backdrop of the Rust Belt midwest, Mary Biddinger explores the dilemmas and desires of today's women. Filled with both innocent longing and unflinching violence, this chapbook explores the place of today's woman in poetic verse and song. One of the best collections I have read this year!
Oct 17, 2012 Grace rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Teenage girls, Catholics, Midwesterners
I absolutely adore this book. I gobbled the poems up in one day, as if they were a French strawberry crepe. The poems are so endearing and unique. Coming from a Roman Catholic (highly conservative) Midwest family, I can relate to the speaker so well. All of the poems are polished and show the true talent of author Mary Biddinger.
A spectactular collection, if a bit short. The book is filled with lovely poems with lots of substance, many of which took me back to my days growing up in Catholic school. Vivid imagry and voice, smart tone. These poems will stand up to many rereadings.
This chapbook is fantastic. Really excellent work.

Read my full review, published by Rain Taxi Review of Books:

My review of Mary Biddinger's Saint Monica can be found in Issue 3 of Glint Literary Journal:
I know that it was a book of poems but I kind of barely knew what I was reading and I am indifferent about it. Good thing this was only for class.
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Mary Biddinger is the author of the poetry collections Prairie Fever (Steel Toe Books, 2007), Saint Monica (Black Lawrence Press, 2011), and O Holy Insurgency (Black Lawrence Press, 2011), and co-editor of The Monkey and the Wrench: Essays into Contemporary Poetics (University of Akron Press, 2011). Her poetry has recently appeared in Barrelhouse, Bat City Review, Blackbird, Devil's Lake, Forklift...more
More about Mary Biddinger...
Prairie Fever The Monkey and the Wrench: Essays into Contemporary Poetics O Holy Insurgency A Sunny Place with Adequate Water The Cossack Review (3)

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