Winner of the 1998 Hollis Summers Poetry Prize.
In the world of Memye Curtis Tucker's poetry, the observed are on display, on trial, on guard, or disappearing, and often changed by the eyes upon them; the gazers are benevolent, threatening, judgmental, separate, invisible.
There is in the poems a surface accessibility; mysteries in this book are not puzzles or ellipses, but moving revelations of paradox and unending possibilities. And while many are meditative there is always the tug of the narrative impulse.
Northrop Frye has remarked upon the centrality of the epigram in Tucker's writing. But beyond the epigrammatic quality and the elegiac stance of much of her work, whether her subject matter is a turkey caller or a town covered over by an airport runway, is the hope of holding on, even if provisionally, to what disappears by watching as it is transformed through memory and art into “a fugue, a twisting leap, pigment the color of flame.”
Louis Simpson, this year's judge of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, said of Tucker's work, “the writing is elegant in the sense engineers use, the forms and style being fitted to their purpose. I was not able to predict what this highly intelligent writer would turn to next, and found that whatever it was would be a pleasure to read.”
Memye Curtis Tucker is the author of three poetry chapbooks, and her poems have appeared widely in literary reviews. Recipient of numerous prizes and fellowships, she is a senior editor of Atlanta Review and teaches poetry writing at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta.
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