Brittany Perham and Randall Mann discuss their new poetry collections with Susan Steinberg.
Praise for Double Portrait
“Double Portrait, by turns playful, mournful, indulgent, musical, insightful, and all the way human, comes clean about our most driving desires. . . . Imaginative and familiar, the result is full of humor that is both rueful and sensual.” Claudia Rankine
“This unswerving ambitious work brings the reader on a wild and thrilling journey. The poems lead into a world where desire, the body, memory and invention are looked at in the bright light of language: nothing forgiven, everything laid bare. . . . This is a wonderful, compelling book with the qualities of the best writing, both memorable and moving.” Eavan Boland
“If you took the superabundant abandon of Olena Kalytiak Davis and crossed its wires with the graven psychological acuity of Louise Glück, you might get a poet like Brittany Perham. Double Portrait is full of bracing poetry, and arrives from deep inside the soulful solid. There may be a few other books as good as this published this year. There won’t be any better.” David Rivard
About Double Portrait
Each poem in this prize-winning collection links two portraits: child and parent, lover and beloved, citizen and country, spirit and body, living and dead. Each speaker investigates what it means to be in relationship to another: what does it mean to see and be seen, to reflect and be reflected, to address and be addressed?
In Proprietary, Randall Mann critiques corporate culture, depicting (and slyly rebuking) the American materialism that erupted in the 1980s and has metastasized ever since. “Please consider / Ocean Beach / out of reach,” he writes; in these poems, nothing is beyond the reach of his acuity.
For years, Randall Mann has been hailed as one of contemporary American poetry’s most daring formalists, expertly using craft as a way of exploring racy subjects with trenchant wit and aplomb. His new collection, Proprietary, depicts with the insights of a longtime insider the culture of corporate America, in which he’s worked for years, intertwined with some of his tried-and-true subjects, including gay life in the wildly disparate worlds of San Francisco and northern Florida.