Books & Other Media
FREAKED by Liz Robbins is one of the winners of the 14th Annual Elixir Press Poetry Awards. Contest judge, Bruce Bond, had this to say about it: "Where there are freaks, there are those who freak. It is the signature of a contemporary world, its fractured inheritance of values and myths, where freak becomes a verb and thus weds the anomaly to her distrust of others and, worse, of self. Chance too can feel like fate, the scattered stars as the authors of character, angelic orders that give us orders, but what we find in this book's opening sequence, "Star-Holder," is, like stars, both held and full of fire. Bitterness, dread, drunkenness and disappointment-they find acceptance in imagination's constellations, in the poem's yearning for connection and yet, as freaked, for an independent refuge. Thus we find the poem as conversation, as something that reaches out, acknowledges, challenges, recalls, however pitched at the speed of individual reverie. Where better to begin a book than with a thrill ride, and the age when it dawns on us that fear and desire are like that couple you knew in high school, at odds constantly, but fabled, fabulous, crazy in love."
Poetry. Winner of the 2010 Cider Press Review Book Award, selected by Patricia Smith. "Liz Robbins's poems are smart, savvy, dangerous, and as bold as the big hoop earrings her characters are fond of wearing. Robbins does not shy away from the provocative or mischievously formal. By turns elegiac and political, poppy and poignant, PLAY BUTTON reconciles the good girl with the bad girl in us all."—Denise Duhamel
Hope, as the World Is a Scorpion Fish
Liz Robbins's poems have what only the very best poems have: a sturdy toughness undergirding their tenderness. Though the body spins dervishly-almost blindly- for love and beauty, it must also accept the jolts of pain, of physical labor. As with the flowering pear trees in "On the Verge of Spring," we are ever " hopeful,/ hopeless--with [the] smell of sweat suggestive/ of work and of fear." There's a refreshing honesty in these poems as well as a tremendous amount of skill with a sensuous musical language. Each poem is a delight, something to savor. -Nance Van Winckel
Liz Robbins' second full collection, Play Button, won the 2010 Cider Press Review Book Award, judged by Patricia Smith. The poems recorded here are from that collection.