Monday, April 24, 2017

MMT Revealed! Beth Ann Fennelly

The poet is Beth Ann Fennelly! The poem is titled “Turning Twenty-Nine” from her collection Open House.

Among the subjects Fennelly addresses in her poetry are motherhood and parenting, love and marriage, death and loss, faith and religion, the natural world, and the Mississippi landscape. She uses a range of forms (blank verse, narrative, persona, sestina, and sonnet), writes in lyric sequences, often in a "direct address" style:
Turning Twenty-Nine

You thought you’d be wiser,
not still falling for the old x=y
You wonder how you’d do it if you were
the last person on earth and had to found
 a new civilization: could you describe
how an engine works? A radio? A lightbulb?
You repeat the word bulb. Bulb, bulb, bulb.  

Beth Ann Fennelly directs the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Fennelly has won grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Fulbright to Brazil.  Fennelly's first collection of poems, Open House, won multiple awards, including the Zoo Press Poetry Prize, the 2001 Kenyon Review Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association Award, and a Book Sense Top Ten Poetry Pick.  Her second poetry collection, Tender Hooks, and her third, Unmentionables, were published in 2004 and 2008. She also published a book of nonfiction, Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother (Norton), in 2006.

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