Winner of the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry & the Kate Tufts Discovery Award
Temper (Pitt Poetry Series)
Restraint and abandon ride side-by-side
“Restraint and abandon ride side-by-side through these fiercely distilled poems-again and again they bear reluctant witness to the shadows hovering around the edges of every moment. Temper starts with an evocation of a mystery-an empty train station, the words of a last phone call, a sister’s body beside the tracks. Move closer. I want to tell you a story, the poet murmurs alluringly, as if to implicate us in the crime. A beautiful unease suffuses these poems-they make me aware I’m alive, and certain of nothing. A stunning debut.” – Nick Flynn
Beth Bachmann's Temper is an unforgettable first book
“Beth Bachmann’s Temper is an unforgettable first book. Embodied in a poetry that quakes with sorrow one moment and is steely with forensic detail the next–the drainage gate… the tearing/of a pleated skirt- Temper‘s account of a murder encompasses the polarities of flesh and spirit, love and horror. The drama of this horrifying event, however, is not what is most compelling about Temper. What is most compelling is the way Beth Bachmann presides over the drama with a courage and restraint which manifest themselves as the beauty of these poems.” – Lynn Emanuel
Tempered by silence and grappling for meaning
“Tempered by silence and grappling for meaning beyond story, beyond what is spoken or known, these poems recall absences everywhere – the losses by which we are plagued, what we must endure.” – Natasha Trethewey
Bachmann works the charged margins of the mythic imagination...
“formidable…mind-boggling…absolutely tonic…when George Herbert wrote about temper he meant that process by which metals are beaten and burned and subjected to dire extremity so as to gain their supple resilience and serviceable strength. That is the work these poems do.” – Linda Gregerson, Kate Tufts Award judge
Metamorphosis, resonance, transformation, the alchemy of art.
A violent, eroticized version of heaven...
A language of fact and unflinching gaze trained on ruin
Boundaries of blood, love, belief, and brutality blur...
Eerily calm and anything but bloodless. Tough and impressive
The faint hint of heat, not the bottle of Tabasco.
Reading Beth Bachmann's poems is a little like having sex in a graveyard.
Quirky, fresh, linguistically flippant...
Is beauty what one thinks of when one thinks of a weapon?
Currently at work on a book of poems about peace called Cease, Beth Bachmann teaches in the MFA program at Vanderbilt University. More