Winner of the 2016 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize
"Uncertainty, disappointment, and patriarchy pervade a landscape of lost dreams and unexpected realities in Adair-Hodges's gloriously sardonic debut, winner of the 2016 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. In this collection, a person does not habituate to loneliness but instead becomes "a scientist inventing/ new ways to be lonely"; aging feels "like a bouquet of Mondays, // the alarm going off though we just fell/ asleep"; and looming despair inspires one to go for runs "not for health or happiness but// to prepare for the apocalypse." In addition to being grimly humorous, Adair-Hodges can cast undiluted darkness upon subjects as she deems fit, such as her rendering of the male gaze as an omniscient demon ("I'm being pressed/ against a mirror so hard I can't see/ myself, just the dark center of my eye/ pulling me in like I'm being unborn") and her innate desire for redemption: "Imagine this poem is my hand/ opening. Imagine this the grenade in your chest: / pin in my teeth. I want you to hurt/ and I want to know about it." It's a gritty and bewitching collection that revels in its vulnerability; Adair-Hodges incisively translates visceral emotions into tangible imagery while remaining emotionally fluid and preserving the integrity of her sorrow."--Publishers Weekly
Erin Adair-Hodges is visiting assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Toledo and is the co-creator and curator of the Bad Mouth Reading Series. Her poems have appeared in the Kenyon Review, the Georgia Review, Boulevard, and Green Mountains Review, among other venues. Winner of the Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, she has also been a Bread Loaf Rona Jaffe scholar, and has received awards from the Rockland Residency and The Writer's Hotel.