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Swoon

  • Finalist for the James Laughlin Prize

  • Winner of the Wick Poetry Prize

What does it mean to be a woman—a lover, mother and artist? In Swoon, Redel tackles the question of Eros as it animates domestic life. These are poems unafraid to embrace the sweetness of difficulty and the difficult sweetness of intimacy. Using short and extended lyric, prose poem, circular narrative, Redel refuses formal categorization, demanding of poetry a complex and textured vision of the female experience. Swoon is a robustly sexy, intelligent, daring book of poems.

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 “Swoon is a startling sequence of poems—the voice fired with erotic hunger, the language sharply original, oddly tilted, and ruthless in its assertions of the aweful and blessed truths. Victoria Redel speaks from the very spine of her experience. Open this book and she will pull you in.”

—BILLY COLLINS

“Victoria Redel has given us poems that sing from the full catastrophe’ of a woman’s life: erotic life and mother love swooning in the same book, often in the same poem! Poems of crucial friendship! Language as lucid as it is intoxicating! I’m amazed and grateful for this book. The world is richer because of it, and truer and less lonely.”

—MARIE HOWE

“Redel’s characters don’t walk the line between appetite and everything else so much as they dash back and forth across it, warming the pages so that readers who take up “Swoon” are likely to drop it from time to time and blow on their fingers as though they've grabbed a hot skillet.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES

“In Swoon, Redel has hit her form in a spectacular fashion. She is alive in language. She’s a mature poet, a knowing poet, a wild, romantic poet. But, in the end, what she is most besotted with (what the poet in the poems is besotted with) is language itself.”

NUMERO CINQ

“In Swoon, the ravishing world as perceived by this poet is transferred to the reader in piercing, expert strokes.”

HARVARD REVIEW

Selected Interviews & Press