Elizabeth Macklin

Elizabeth Macklin  


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Poet, Essayist, Editor, Translator


cover of 'You've Just Been Told' by Elizabeth Macklin

You've Just Been Told  (New York: W. W. Norton, 2000) 

A Woman Kneeling in the Big City  (New York: W. W. Norton, 1992) 

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'"In these poems, Macklin explores what she calls 'grammars of attention,' presenting her own rules of usage and then, disarmingly, revising them. In a poem about a difficult father, entitled 'Almost,' her multiple variations on this apparently generic word--'See? I'm almost / with you again. / I'm almost angry / with you again'--reveal the central conviction of her work: that even an unprepossessing adverb carries an emotional valence." 
- The New Yorker.

"Elizabeth Macklin's You've Just Been Told demands that readers hold multiple ideas in their heads, but she is gracious enough to raise questions that generate enough interest for them to willingly do so. It is demanding to work to read, and, in the end, the ambiguities and questions read the reader..." 
-The Part-Time Postmodernist (Summer 2000).

"Around her poetry Elizabeth Macklin uses grammar as a scaffolding of detachment. She builds precarious platforms that enable her to see her past and her family and to sort through the chaotic pain of memory: to examine the deceptive facets of truth. These poems parse life's sentences. Tension arises from how Macklin tests grammar's ability, both as metaphor and as the raw material of language, to enclose her oblique and urgent questions... Macklin writes: 'No, we never liked our grammar / but we liked the stories.' In You've Just Been Told, the scaffolding finally falls away, revealing poems of abrupt perception and rigorous lyricism."
- Deborah Weisgall, New York Times.

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