This is the sort of poetry that leans on prose—is direct, is conversational—but that is so imagistic, brazen, and obsessed with meaning that each word imprints itself on your very bones. I love this collection. Ruefle looks at the world with a wry, mature gaze, resulting in a work definitional and sometimes dark but also too beautiful to be entirely jaded. I had the uncomfortable impression that she was staring into my eyes and advising me, woman to woman, on how to live.— Amber
Author of Madness, Rack, and Honey ("One of the wisest books I've read in years," according to the New York Times) and Trances of the Blast, Mary Ruefle continues to be one of the most dazzling poets in America. My Private Property, comprised of short prose pieces, is a brilliant and charming display of her humor, deep imagination, mindfulness, and play in a finely crafted edition.
When I was young, a fortune-teller told me that an old woman who wanted to die had accidentally become lodged in my body. Slowly, over time, and taking great care in following esoteric instructions, including lavender baths and the ritual burial of keys in the backyard, I rid myself of her presence. Now I am an old woman who wants to die and lodged inside me is a young woman dying to live; I work on her.
Mary Ruefle is the author of Trances of the Blast; Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures, a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism; and Selected Poems, winner of the William Carlos Williams Award. She has published ten other books of poetry, a book of prose (The Most of It), and a comic book, Go Home and Go to Bed ; she is also an erasure artist whose treatments of nineteenth-century texts have been exhibited in museums and galleries as well as published in the book A Little White Shadow. Ruefle is the recipient of numerous honors, including an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Whiting Award. She lives in Bennington, Vermont and teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College.