Author: Mark Zimmermann
Publisher: Pebblebrook Press (2015)
Each of the persona poems in this collection is written in the voice of a historical figure, contemporary cultural icon, or well-known literary character. The poems are written in the lipogram form, a constraint in which certain letters of the alphabet are deliberately omitted from the work. In Impersonations, Zimmermann has limited himself to the letters contained in the name of each persona; for instance, the poem “Sigmund Freud” uses only the letters s, i, g, m, u, n, d, f, r, and e. Zimmermann has worked wonders with these severe limitations, producing poems that are lyrical, witty, and smart.
"The artful manipulation of language is difficult enough for poets who have all 26 letters of the alphabet at their disposal, but here Mark Zimmermann has risen to that challenge under severe self-imposed restrictions. The poems are called 'lipograms'––dramatic monologues that feature historical personae or literary characters speaking for themselves, but with a major difference: they are limited to the letters that occur in their own names."