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Pathogenesis

"Put whippets in your heart and let the rabbits breed. They will." Like still-wet lagomorphs crawling over each other in innate proximity, Peggy Munson's poems confine the reader "inside a lantern, buzzing at the headlights." Munson addresses illness, family, and the blood running through both with malleable tenacity. Pathogenesis was a finalist or semifinalist for numerous prizes, including the Dorset Prize, the Carnegie-Mellon Poetry Series, the Beatrice Hawley Award, the Verse Prize, and the University of Wisconsin Pollack Prize.


"Peggy Munson's Pathogenesis is forthright and magical in scope. The minute ascends to the monumental -- moth to God; very little escapes the sharp, perceptive eye of this thoughtful poet. A sober music gives shape to the insistent pulse of this book, and each poem dovetails to highlight the collection's overall vision. Every trope is a probe that divines vicissitude." Yusef Komunyakaa

 

"Peggy Munson's intriguing, kaleidoscopic poems transport the reader into a tough- and tender-hearted world of blood, illness, medical authoritarianism, and stubborn life force. Here, 'illness is not metaphor,' but a presence, an atmosphere, a window into experiences to which no mortal, ultimately, is immune. These poems shine a much-needed light on these sick times."  Gerry Gomez Pearlberg

"Peggy Munson is speaking out of the void. Her language is cutting-edge and ontic, her subject matter shatters convention. This poetry is wise beyond any years -- it truly transcends mere time. It is free from a lot of the burden of contemporary poetry conventions, and exists like a small island in the fiery sun, alone, yet willing to be utterly beautiful, utterly strange, and utterly itself."  Noelle Kocot

"Melancholia. Witch hunt. Sinking spell. Mass panic. The diseases that chase us down. The scrupulous craft of them. A poetry that doesn't let go. 'A textbook case.' The Plath-like sharpness and blinding clarity. Peggy Munson's Pathogenesis is rich, powerful, and strange, possessed of a stylistic brilliance and extraordinary humanism: 'I would rather speak in tongue clicks and superlunary broomsticks than utter words of hate.' "  Gillian Conoley

But You Don't Look Sick review of Pathogenesis

Peggy Munson is the author of the novel, Origami Striptease, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards. She also edited the anthology, Stricken: Voices from the Hidden Epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She has published in such places as Best American Poetry 2003, Literature and Medicine, Marginalia, Spoon River Poetry Review, Sinister Wisdom, 13th Moon, Blithe House Quarterly, Lodestar Quarterly, Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism, Best American Erotica, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Peggy has also been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Ragdale Foundation, and Cottages at Hedgebrook. An Illinois native, Peggy now resides in the woods of Western Massachusetts.