Circe, After Hours
95 pages, $13.95 paper
Listed as one of The Kansas City Star's Best Poetry Picks of
Marilyn Kallet's Circe, After Hours shines with a high-intensity light into the underworld of ordinary lives, creating bridges between the North and the South, America and Europe, as well as a marriage between the brain's left and right hemispheres--reason and passion. In this marvelous collection, the process of art illuminates life's path.-- Yusef Komunyakaa
Kallet's poems crackle with fearlessness as they uncover the terrible things human beings do to one another. Through vivid characters, she examines Jewish life in the American South, in New York, and in the death camps of Europe. She employs the historian's tools in "speaking to the past," and then, through these poems, the past speaks to us. -- Robin Becker
In many of these spunky, grieving poems, Kallet reaches back to relatives killed in the Holocaust. She also mourns her mother and father, but her diction is not dark. Using nonce forms, bordering on the jazzy and the adaptations of the pantoum, she moves from Greek myth to autobiography, a lively, readable collection.-- Maxine Kumin
Marilyn Kallet writes with candor, infectious humor, and verve. Her poems keep delivering enjoyable jolts that you don't see coming: try, for concise examples, "No Sale," "It Can't Happen," and "Bodily Harm." From start to finish, Circe, After Hours engages us, with some vivid, funny, patches of autobiography and, at the end, moving elegies for Holocaust victims in the poet's own family. Kallet is a rewarding poet, willing to keep a reader regaled, an immensely skilled crafter of fat-free free verse.-- X. J. Kennedy
Here are friars swimming, phone sex, red purses, furs and gender inequity, and a brief history of a lost town called Horb. She marries, she leaves, she makes us howl and rant with these magical poems, this Marilyn Kallet, this Circe who is "no shaman" but has "lived and died many times" in many arms, and can say to her lucky readers, "And here I am singing." You bet she is, wearing black leather, Italian boots, with a knife in her hand. Read on and rejoice. -- Hilda Raz
Marilyn Kallet is the author of ten other books. Her poems have appeared in hundreds of publications, including New Letters, Prairie Schooner, and Tar River Poetry. Kallet has won the Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Fellowship in Poetry and was named Outstanding Woman in the Arts by the Knoxville YWCA. She is the poetry editor for New Millennium Writings and holds the Hodges Chair for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Tennessee, where she directed the creative writing program for seventeen years.
A recorded interview with this author is available from New Letters on the Air.