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The Park of Upside-Down Chairs, Poems by Alexandra van de Kamp
Alexandra van de Kamp’s painterly attention to both the objects and the spirits of experience pervade the poems of The Park of Upside-Down Chairs, inviting the reader into their—and the world’s—richness.
Alexandra van de Kamp lives in Port Jefferson, NY, with her husband, the writer William Glenn, and teaches at Stony Brook University. She has been previously published in journals such as Poetry Northwest, Meridian, Crab Orchard Review, Salt Hill, Sentence, Lake Effect, and Washington Square. Her first chapbook, The Rainiest May in the Twentieth Century, was a winner of the 2001 Quentin R. Howard Poetry Prize from Wind Magazine and was published in 2002. A second chapbook, The Photographer’s Interview, was also published by The Premier Poets Chapbook Series in 2006. She is a co-founding editor of Terra Incognita, a bilingual literary journal distributed in Spain and the United States, and lived in Madrid, Spain, for six years.
“Can we discover ourselves and the meaning of our lives in forgotten objects in this ‘thick, viscous world’? Yes, Alexandra van de Kamp says in her lovely first full-length book. The details define us, ‘there are days when the objects/ we think love us, tell us what we really are.’ Or we find ourselves juxtaposed against details like lemons, a fountain, mailboxes, a fan, rugs, photographs, and, quite often, paintings. All inform us about our true selves and how we fit into this world. This delightful book points out the possibilities and imagines the myriad of lives that could have been ours. It’s a book that makes us reflect on what our better selves have left behind. And it’s Alexandra who finds them.”-–Laurie Blauner, author of Wrong and Infinite Kindness
“In this, her brilliant debut collection, Alexandra van de Kamp argues that to love is to ‘let things fall through us,’ to keep a steadfast dedication to the physical world with all its beauty and pain. I can think of no better proof of love than these poems, and this poet’s astonishing genius for metaphor, in which, as we read, our precious world—clouds and lemons, breasts and saints, spoons and smoke and abandoned chairs—falls through us, changing, as it falls, into aspects of ourselves. This is the work of a magician; in other words, it is the work of a true poet.”—Janet Kaplan, author of The Glazier’s Country, the 2003 Poets Out Loud Prize
“Paintings and photographs, the sounds of words, everyday objects (spoons, books, shoes)—these are the ostensible subjects of Alexandra van de Kamp’s precisely observed verse and luminous prose poems, but the true heart of The Park of Upside-Down Chairs is the human soul revealed. A beautiful book.”--Luke Whisnant, Editor, Tar River Poetry
ISBN: 978-1934999936, 130 pages, $20.00