Today's poem is "Inquiline"
from Dandarians

Milkweed Editions

Lee Ann Roripaugh writes poetry that deals with themes of culture and identity in all its forms. She has received numerous awards, serves as editor in chief of the "South Dakota Review," and directs the creative writing program at the University of South Dakota. She lives in Vermillion, SD.

Other poems by Lee Ann Roripaugh in Verse Daily:
December 8, 2009:   "Bioluminescence" "The eggs burn softly..."
January 23, 2004:  "Hope" "There are nights I dream of goldfish..."

Books by Lee Ann Roripaugh:

Other poems on the web by Lee Ann Roripaugh:
Three poems
Two poems
Two poems
Three poems
Five poems
"Things I Would Do for You"
Five poems
Two poems
"Happy Hour"

Lee Ann Roripaugh According to Wikipedia.

Lee Ann Roripaugh on Twitter.

About Dandarians:

"In her fourth collection, Dandarians, Lee Ann Roripaugh mobilizes the Japanese haibun to investigate the dialectic of trauma and care that gives rise to a particularly luminous poetic sensibility. There is the culture shock of the mixed-ethnicity child who inherits her Asian mother's mispronunciation of "dandelions," transforming one invasive species into an interplanetary race of 'Dandarians.' ('If you're not careful,' writes Roripaugh, 'I'll take over your garden'). There is also the trauma of abuse, of a woman forced 'to repeat the things that were done to me that I have no names for yet.' And yet the compound fractures of history are continuously mended by the grace of this writer's wit--'I love the word antimacassar, though I have no use for antimacassars themselves'--and her openness to the shocks of beauty that surround us. Who else could see a caterpillar dangling from its silk thread as 'a showgirl in the Ziegfield follies straddling a glittering sliver of moon'? Dandarians is a work of beauty and resilience: the beauty of resilience, and the resilience of beauty."
—Srikanth Reddy

"What happens when verbicide meets genocide? In Dandarians, Lee Ann Roripaugh’s brilliant fourth book, the poet’s lovely, lyrical wordplay reveals its origins in political and familial dissent. Roripaugh guides readers through dangerous territory, where clouds ‘dervish off the sagebrushed plains’ and ‘strangeness makes me a moving target.’ Here’s the clash of cultures written on the body of a daughter: ‘Prismed through the scrim of my mother’s Japanese accent, I think dandelions are Dandarians . . . when I tell you I’m an alien . . . I am, of course, mostly joking.’ Reading feels like breaking rules, rules that separate us from others: ‘Do you have a permission tree? Is it blooming?’ Believe this poet when she tells you what she knows."
—Carol Guess

"I am completely in awe of and in love with Lee Ann Roripaugh's Dandarians, of the perfection of her images, the intensity of her language, the glittering and gorgeous union of these two. I stall and stutter, a willing captive to her phrases. She writes, 'Sun’s cold high beam glaring everywhere—ricocheting off snow, stretching sky’s dome like a taut blue balloon, sluicing in through every window.' There is so much to say that this book is about; there is so much to say that this book does. I loved reading about Roripaugh’s linguistical mishaps, of her experiences, so akin to mine, of being a half. I loved being a Dandarian, enmeshed in Roripaugh’s Dee Asters."
—Jenny Boully

"Pleasure and danger and recollected frustration, the prismatic color of the Great Plains, the allure of exoplanets and the generative powers that wait in a child’s solecisms and mispronounciations: those are only some of the ‘favorite things’ (as Coltrane did not put it) in Lee Ann Roripaugh’s best book yet, a takeup of prose poems and lyric essays at once exuberant about tomorrow, about the sexy detail all over the visible and audible world, and serious about childhood, about her family’s tough yesterdays. Here are pages to cherish simply for the way they make up words, or put words together (fish solfège!) but here, too, is the resonant voice of a newly confident author: Roripaugh’s associations, juxtapsitions, recollections, digressions take her from purple riverbanks to stark regret and back to present-day starshine: ‘I’ll take over your garden,’ the poet promises. You’d do well to let her in."
—Stephen Burt

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