Break the Glass
Author: Jean Valentine
Publisher: Copper Canyon (2012)
In her eleventh collection—honored as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry—Jean Valentine characteristically weds a moral imperative to imaginative and linguistic leaps and bounds. Whether writing elegies, meditations on aging, or an extended homage to Lucy, the earliest known hominid, the pared-down compactness of her tone and vision reveals a singular voice in American poetry. As Adrienne Rich has said of Valentine's work, "This is a poetry of the highest order, because it lets us into spaces and meanings we couldn't approach in any other way."