Odessa (back cover)


Winner of the Minnesota Book Award
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A grim prognosis, brain cancer, leaves the speaker in Patricia Kirkpatrick’s Odessa—selected by Peter Campion as the winner of the 2012 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry—fighting for her life.

The tumor presses against her amygdalae, the “emotional core of the self,” central to the process of memory. And so a dreamlike reality emerges from these poems, emotionally charged but void of sentimentality. Kirkpatrick’s Odessa, “roof of the underworld,” is a refuge at once real and imagined, resembling simultaneously the Midwestern prairie and a god-inhabited city. We see a field filled with unidentifiable birds and the unknowable. A post-surgery body that can be “broken / like a piece of bread.” Ceres and Hades locked in a custody battle for Persephone—and Persephone’s fruit, “the color of bloodstain.”

Ghostly, lyrical, and bearing shades of classical heroism, Odessa delivers a personal narrative of stunning dimension.

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5.5 × 8.5 × 0.25 in
5 oz
Patricia Kirkpatrick

Patricia Kirkpatrick is the author of Blood Moon as well as Odessa, which was awarded the first Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry and the 2013 Minnesota Book Award. Her awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Loft Literary Center, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She has taught writing at many colleges, most recently in the University of Minnesota MFA program. She lives in Saint Paul.

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