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Saint Monica

4.68  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  9 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. ...more
Paperback, First, 40 pages
Published June 21st 2011 by Black Lawrence Press (first published May 2011)
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Average rating 4.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  53 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chapbooks
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! ...more
Jul 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"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
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
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry

My review of Mary Biddinger's Saint Monica can be found in Issue 3 of Glint Literary Journal:
Feb 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This chapbook is fantastic. Really excellent work.

Read my full review, published by Rain Taxi Review of Books:
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: indifference, poetry
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.
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, tight collection of poems featuring the adventures of Biddinger's Saint Monica, patron saint of abuse victims, alcoholics, and other unfortunate souls. This collection holds together beautifully. ...more
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Mary Biddinger is the author of six full-length poetry collections, including Small Enterprise, The Czar, and Partial Genius, her first book of prose poems (Black Lawrence Press, August 2019). She teaches literature and creative writing at The University of Akron and NEOMFA program, and edits the Akron Series in Poetry for The University of Akron Press. Poems have recently appeared in Court Green, ...more

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