Slaves to Do These Things is now available on Amazon (SPD later) for order – enjoy!
“I’m portable. My mind travels / the verse and valleys of whole people says the poet.” Correct! Readers of this book will discover their own memories. They will melt in them, amazed, lullabied, dramatized, shocked that they exist. Amy King is a true bard.
— Tomaž Šalamun
Smoke n’ hott, these poems emerge as “… audible diamonds that cut,” where Rock is King & candor disarms paranoia, or, in King’s case, downright dismembers it: “Forgive me, I am the final/ seminary soul to check your shape/ in the dress of that embalming line.” Passengered adeptly under the influence of Lorca, Neruda maybe, (“Buried by midnight/ I am a warm/ fly in amber.”) the reader wants to shout, GO DUENDE!!!
“Amy King is a poet’s poet, highly respected in the contemporary world of letters. Her latest collection of poems reveals why.
Mistress of a mythic surrealism that is laced at times with bawdy language, Amy combines images like “moldy dark stools in back room encounters” with “Michaelangelo turning crosshairs to sunshine.” Unusual juxtapositions like these compel the reader to turn the page, discover more. Divided into five acts, this collection of poetry arcs like a prize-winning drama, a volume that should be in everyone’s hands and on everyone’s shelf!” –The Tower Journal
“While the imperious imperialism of the title speaks of inequality, distance, and irony, King’s latest book, her third from BlazeVOX, actually draws and holds the reader close. You’ll feel understood by this book as it speaks of birth, divinity, and the sociocultural moment that may have you weary. I like King’s invocation of American angst in poems such as ‘Stimulus Package’ and ‘Everything Happens At Once’; the former ends with the lines ‘we ignore the dress of death/ when they mirage America back,’ while the latter begins with ‘the government wants their money,/ retirement shrinks its future,/ I am stuck at the bottom of alert/ that is only a test/ of what?’ She grabs and inverts the crummy corniness that keeps people up at night.
It’s a strength of Slaves to Do These Things that such unadorned phrasing coexists well with its opposite: arresting noun phrases, carefully concatenated. Thus, ‘Everything Happens At Once’ invokes not only government, retirement, phones, and doors, but also ‘fortune’s dial tone,’ ‘the fields of water crocus/ set adrift with handmade paddles,’ and ‘houses in swollen grass.’ Elsewhere, you’ll find ‘chalk blown sky of rabbit tails,’ ‘a calico sky in an earlobe’s kerchief,’ and a deft definition: ‘Moustache: a salt & pepper mole rat’—has it been said better? I wish I could see with my eyes half of the things that King describes.” –The University of Arizona Poetry Center
Sample poem — Verse Daily, “State of a Nation”
Sample poem — Ashok Karra, “The Always Song”
Review — The Tower by Robert Philben
Interview — Bookslut
Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.