Today's poem is "Starlings"
from Receipt

Milkweed Editions

Karen Leona Anderson received an MFA from the Iowa Writer's Workshop, an MA from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and her PhD from Cornell University, where she wrote a dissertation on poetry and science. She lives in Maryland, where she teaches English at St. Mary's College.

Books by Karen Leona Anderson:

Other poems on the web by Karen Leona Anderson:
Five poems
Three poems
Three poems
"FINAL SALE ($245.94 Lord & Taylor)"

Karen Leona Anderson's Website.

About Receipt:

"With a lexical panache and formal liveliness, Receipt makes of personal and domestic travails wondrous record. These poems, fiercely wrought, honor the fragility of the human heart in the daily occasion while flaunting the supreme powers of artistic invention. How thrilling such skill and spirit wanders the same aisles as we do!"
—Dean Young

"Karen Leona Anderson knows that at the very base of our sophistications we hold true to the fundaments of our animal nature: appetite and display. Part recipe book, part ledger, part lyric-eyed anthropological investigation, part confession, part carnival, part come-on, Receipt—with wit and candor and unexpected compassion—reveals those rituals both deep and tawdry by which the human condition persists in pursuit of what it most wants: beauty, love, food, sex, the big box store called Beyond, the little box store called Home. The deep ethical work here going on requires us to ask those difficult questions in which all our finery falls away, revealing a kind of nakedness that in an almost classical sense, suggests a kind of shame underlying our efforts at 'dignity,' but also a sympathy that it must be so. It teaches us to do what it has conducted so stunningly in itself: 'to think an all / deception as a gift.' And so Anderson writes these poems, illusions that show us our delusions, an act of kindness not cruelty, never above the fray it reveals, never denying the material, the given and the taken, these receipts of this body in which we make our brief home."
—Dan Beachy-Quick

"Karen Leona Anderson's Receipt imagines an alternate history of American home economics, in which a split-second instruction from an iconic cookbook or a crumpled drugstore register-tape is a site for narrative and linguistic rapture. The very title Receipt (at once an archaism of 'recipe'—a series of instructions yielding culinary achievement — and the more familiar evidence of a transactional moment) heralds the crackling word-play found throughout Anderson's verse; apparently guileless cookery terms—toast, coat, grill, icing—constellate meaning into moments mysterious and resonant, and lines course from mordantly witty to heart-tuggingly melancholic in an instant. Anderson's domestic realm links the anxiety of cooking sugar to worrying a stock-ticker; witnesses the cosmos in a pizza gone awry; mines the proximities of corn fungus and soft-core. To read these poems is its own kind of nutrition, its own sustenance, and you turn the final page of this volume thrillingly filled."
—Ted Lee

"Karen Leona Anderson doesn't miss a beat as she traces our consumerisms—economic, sexual, spiritual, and more—with irony, wit, sadness and more than a little humor. Receipt is, quite simply, a terrific book."
—Linda Bierds

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