Kathleen Tyler

Books by Kathleen Tyler for the Backwaters Press

My Florida My Florida by Kathleen Tyler

Author: Kathleen Tyler
Format: Paperback, 72 pages
ISBN: 0979393469
Published: March 2008

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Critical Praise for My Florida

Kathleen Tyler’s Florida is a wild and terrifying place, a savage place—but “what was savage, I adored,” she tells us. And so these poems are full of the deepest kind of heartbreak, too, the kind of heartbreak that’s irreparable. “Death cures of our terror / of death,” Tyler writes, “What cure is there for the terror of love?” In My Florida, a hubcap scuds across the road, a child hides under an ironing board while her mother is beaten, a heron with orange eyes feasts on hatchling alligators, and a girl swings a bag of snakes tied with a pink, satiny ribbon, asking, “Oh, whose porch can I leave it on?” Tyler’s poems are often shocking, always brave, and bravely, shockingly beautiful.
Cecilia Woloch – Author of Late

In the first poem of this exciting collection, Kathleen Tyler takes lightning as her poetics, a force which illuminates, ferociously, everything hidden. The vision in these poems, like lightning, burns open our human disasters and lifts them—thanks to Tyler’s brilliance—to fiery beauty. A boy falls into an alligator pit; a young bride watches her husband’s plane crash; sexual boundaries are ravaged; family dramas occur in which “…power lines are trapped in their own / deadly struggle.” Within this astonishing writing, unacknowledged aspects of the American psyche are freed by Tyler’s searing imagination. She writes, “I woke from my nap hungry / for all that exists.” She reveals that “all” for those of us who prefer the exorcism of revelation to softer comforts. My Florida is unforgettable.
Holly Prado – Author of These Mirrors Prove It

As of late, Florida has begun to speak to our collective imagination as a place of mystery and calamity—inexplicable events, natural and man-made. It’s unlikely any current book of poetry will move us more deeply into this world than Kathleen Tyler’s My Florida. She has evolved a language both sensuous and hard-hitting, a language fully able to express her home state’s dualities: lushness and superabundance on one hand, and, on the other, swampiness, shadow and opacity, danger. Against this fertile backdrop she unfolds the histories of a troubled family—a story with the sweep of a novel, if a novel could be distilled into poem-sized pieces.
Suzanne Lummis – Author of How Much Earth

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