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I Know What the Small Girl Knew
Brand:Modern History Press
This early collection of Achtenberg's poetry treats the intersection of the inner and the outer life through issues of social justice that remain crucial, and the ways history and its traumas sit in us. Her themes include women's rights, poverty, war, racism, and sexual abuse. Her vision of concern spans the world, from her own inner city neighborhoods to the wider world, anywhere people are oppressed.
"I can't tell you how wonderful and naked these poems are and a rare thing for a woman to be able to give it. What you are writing is not just something for this day you are wringing ringing out a cry you are privy to a great cry out a wonderful vision of a woman's agony. You have a witch's terrible straight look and you must go on with this vision . . . to show the utter depravity and cruelty of the oppressors, amidst screams of destruction, the past and future hiroshimas. This is the poetry of our resurrection. For the blood, for the healing. For love." -- Meridel Le Sueur (excerpts from letters to the author)
"I didn't know how much I needed this book until I read it. And I didn't know how much I'd been longing for a northamerican poetry that speaks with passion and authority of both the inner and outer life, as well as the point where they intersect; that place that is ‘political’ understood in its most fierce and fearful, sad and triumphant sense. Achtenberg's eye for detail is accurate and often startling, both compassionate and ironic; the rhythms of her language are resonant and complex beyond what we have come to expect from northamerican poetry. Anya Achtenberg's poetry gives both pleasure and courage." -- Jim Moore, author of Invisible Strings
ANYA ACHTENBERG is an award-winning author of the novel Blue Earth, and novella, The Stories of Devil-Girl (both with Modern History Press); and poetry books, The Stone of Language (West End Press 2004; MHP 2020); and I Know What the Small Girl Knew (Holy Cow! Press; MHP 2020). Her fiction and poetry have received numerous prizes and distinctions, and been published in numerous literary journals, including Harvard Review; Malpaís Review; Gargoyle; Tupelo Quarterly; Hinchas de poesía; Poet Lore; and many more.