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Today's poem is "Letter After the Diagnosis"
from The Book of Common Betrayals

Bear Star Press

Lynne Knight's first collection, Dissolving Borders, won a Quarterly Review of Literature prize in 1996 and a cycle of poems on Impressionist winter paintings, Snow Effects, appeared from Small Poetry Press as part of its Select Poets Series (2000). Her second full-length collection, The Book of Common Betrayals, won the Dorothy Brunsman Award from Bear Star Press in 2002. Her work has appeared in a number of journals, including Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ontario Review, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, and Southern Review. One of her poems appears in Best American Poetry 2000, edited by Rita Dove. Among her other awards are the Theodore Roethke Award from Poetry Northwest, the Theodore Christian Hoepfner Award from Southern Humanities Review, and the Rosalie Moore Special Award from Blue Unicorn. She lives in Berkeley and teaches writing part-time at two Bay Area community colleges.

About The Book of Common Betrayals:

"'How everything / shifts . . . to allow its opposite. . . .' These words relate the essential focus of Lynne Knight's powerful and long-awaited second collection. That betrayals are common is a given. That they are painful is another. Still another, that we must endure them. The Book of Common Betrayals offers up thirty-eight articulate poems that trace in concise and memorable language the nature of betrayal in all its manifestations. Concerned ultimately with the fragility of the human heart, the poet examines the ways constancy turns to transgression, love to doubt, even how despair can be mistaken for violence. In short, she takes on betrayals of body, mind, and soul. In poems fueled by a combination of passion and panic, Knight disarms us only to expand our vision. She turns the inner world outward and exposes what we've kept secret—sometimes even from ourselves. I'm moved again and again by these poems that seem to know my heart and to understand its pleasures, its flaws, and its weaknesses. These are driven poems uttered in the heart's vernacular."
—Andrea Hollander Budy, author of House Without a Dreamer and The Other Life

"This is a fine, wise book that deserves attention from a variety of readers. In it, Lynne Knight concerns herself with the metaphysical, and with how the metaphysical is betrayed—treacherously, and made seen—through our most intimate attachments and imagination. Her poems explore the generosity and violence in our natures, and they demonstrate how language betrays both what we mean and who we are. We turn away from this study of ourselves awed, a bit sad, and changed."
—Forrest Hamer, author of Call and Response and Middle Ear



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