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Copper Mother by Alyse Knorr

"In Copper Mother, Alyse Knorr imagines a future in which Voyager makes first contact with alien others, who then travel to Earth and introduce themselves as 'Our Friends.' But rather than trying to experience something outside themselves, the speakers search for the 'me of ourselves' in the 'me of their flesh.' They create a projection of the 'self' that 'twists, / makes new space, / [and] consumes future' within these strangers. Knorr's collection reads as a cautionary tale of ethical engagement with the other, and how such interactions can easily transform into solipsistic explorations." —Joshua Ware

"If the Voyager Golden Record was intended to display the diversity of culture and life on Earth, Alyse Knorr's wildly inventive Copper Mother is a retake, our new rendition. Honest in critique of gender, violence, and environmental decay, these poems allow that we see ourselves from afar." —Sally Keith

"Through a startling mixture of forms and language, Copper Mother generates an unusual love story—of loving one’s world so tremendously that that world must be shared, at enormous risk and with unprecedented ingenuity and effort. The 'Friends' of Knorr’s universe bring their gentle curiosity to human heroics and frailties, and the humans—we humans—are redeemed by our eagerness to share our naked selves and by Jane, who bravely matches the terrors of mortality with a selfless faith in our capacity to love. Sincere even in its playful and fantastic moments, Knorr’s poetics emerges from a deep groove of mourning all that we have to lose and will certainly lose, every day and on the last day, perhaps most of all 'our mothers, tired/and lovely and floral and gone.' In that mourning, though, runs an illimitable current of open-hearted reverence that is the best of humanity and beyond its possession—that craving for contact '[t]his world wishes across/space' to whomever might accept our greeting and the belief that we are already together with loved ones, those we’ve lost and those we haven’t yet met, in the slippery fullness of time." —Elizabeth Savage


Real Pants review of Copper Mother


Alyse Knorr is the author of the poetry collections Mega-City Redux (Green Mountains Review Books, 2016), Copper Mother (Switchback Books, 2016) and Annotated Glass (Furniture Press Books, 2013), as well as the non-fiction work Super Mario Bros. 3 (Boss Fight Books, 2016). She also authored the poetry chapbooks Epithalamia (Horse Less Press, 2015) and Alternates (dancing girl press, 2014). Her work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, The Greensboro Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, storySouth, ZYZZYVA, Caketrain, and The Southern Poetry Anthology: Georgia, among others. She received her MFA from George Mason University, where she co-founded Gazing Grain Press. Knorr teaches English at Regis University.


Video: Alyse Knorr reads from Copper Mother

Grab the Lapels interview with Alyse Knorr

Copper Mother by Alyse Knorr

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