Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blameless Mouth - Jessica Fox-Wilson

Blameless Mouth

by Jessica Fox-Wilson

Can we teeter together, on the knife’s edge of having and wanting? In Blameless Mouth, Jessica Fox-Wilson asks this question, by exploring the cycle of hunger, consumption and satiety. The collection traces the poet’s relationship with hunger from childhood to womanhood, uncovering what it means to feel forever wanting. Her work also considers the cultural legacy of hunger, through stories of starving children and hungry women, like Hansel and Gretel, Persephone, Eve, and others. Blameless Mouth illuminates the struggle of living daily with the contradictory pressures to want less but take more and searches for satiety in a culture that encourages insatiability.

Praise for Jessica Fox-Wilson and Blameless Mouth

Using retellings of the familiar stories – Grimm’s fairy tales, Adam and Eve – Fox-Wilson investigates the female body, its appetites and injuries, the relations between fathers and daughters and between a woman and her own image. Obsessed with violence and its repercussions, these poems imagine an alternate creation myth in which a woman struggles to take control of her own destiny. –Jeannine Hall Gailey, author of Becoming the Villainess

Jessica Fox-Wilson’s poetry casts seasons of light on what it means to be human. She elevates plain spoken story to elegance, seamlessly weaving narratives to create a lovely kaleidoscopic image. – Darci Schummer, whose fiction has appeared in Conclave: A Journal of Character, Paper Darts, and Volume One

Jessica Fox-Wilson has written a ferocious, elegant, tough-minded collection of poems. Her exploration of what it means to be hungry, of what the culture asks of its girls and women, compels the reader’s attention and a kind of allegiance with the fierce voice of the narrator. Braiding myths, tales, and sacred texts with her own compelling present-time narratives, we travel with a poet unafraid to speak truth to power, wherever that power resides, however evident or hidden. In the poem where she explores the definition of the word, lacuna, the poet gives us this definition: an empty space, a missing portion, in something which is otherwise continuous. I think of the deep and continuous traditions of poetry, and I think Jessica Fox-Wilson has filled an empty space, a missing portion, with her exceptional, beautifully crafted poems. Buy this book. Consider it food, a full portion which will leave you satisfied and inspired by her gifts as poet. – Deborah Keenan, author, most recently, of Willow Room, Green Door: New and Selected Poems, Milkweed Edition

Jessica Fox-Wilson is a part-time poet and a full-time educator. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Middle-Secondary Education at Beloit College in Beloit, WI and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing at Hamline University, in St. Paul, MN. Throughout her career, she has pursued her twin vocations of unraveling poems and serving college students, with varying degrees of balance, luck and success. She writes about this balancing act at her blog, Everything Feeds Process ( Some of her poems have appeared in several journals, including Gin Bender, Blind Man’s Rainbow and qarrtsiluni and her articles about poetry and literature have appeared in Read Write Poem and the Uptown Neighborhood News. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband.




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