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Today's poem is "Awake"
from Tongue

Red Hen Press

Rachel Contreni Flynn's second full-length collection, Tongue, won the Benjamin Saltman Award and was published by Red Hen Press in 2010. A chapbook, Haywire, was published by Bright Hill Press in 2009, and her first book, Ice, Mouth, Song, was published in 2005 by Tupelo Press after winning the Dorset Prize. She was awarded a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2007. Her work has often been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, and she received an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship in 2003. She received her MFA from Warren Wilson College in 2001 and lives north of Chicago with her husband and their two children.

Other poems by Rachel Contreni Flynn in Verse Daily:
September 21, 2009:   "My Fortune 500 Love Poem" "Amid all the typical bullshit, the fake laughter, the trumped-up urgency..."

Books by Rachel Contreni Flynn:

Other poems on the web by Rachel Contreni Flynn:
"The Violet Room"
Two poems
"Yellow Bowl"
"The Peril of Gooseberries"
"Dead Center"
"Sleep"

Rachel Contreni Flynn's Website.

About Tongue:

"Rachel Contreni Flynnís intimate collection examines exile from the self, the body, and from family and society as it exacts the dangerous and necessary work of remembering. In Tongue, the narrative lens shifts breathtakingly between trauma, wonder, insight and irony, each laboring in concert to 'force the story to its rightful unfolding.' Flynn demonstrates that identity is shaped by, and the self owes its very survival to, that unfolding where beauty is crafted from toxin, music from intractable angeróand with the tongue (as both language and tough muscle), one must 'feast on solitude' in order to sing out bravely the root-note of grace. These wise, tender poems urge us to 'love this world, though it is flawed/. . .love it entirely, or be lost' all the while recognizing that such an undertaking is no less than the daily rescue of oneís own life from exile."
—Chad Sweeney

"Rachel Contreni Flynn, the winner of this yearís Benjamin Saltman Award, honors us with the grace of her language, her strength of purpose as a poet, and the uncluttered emotional honesty of her work. These poems chronicle the stark contrasts that mark the lives of two sisters. A quirky adolescence and early adulthood is thrust upon one while the otherís life is measured out in slow ounces. I was captured by this passionate and loving recounting of tragic years and dislocations."
—Eloise Klein Healy



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