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Small Knots [Paperback]

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Item description for Small Knots by Kelli Russell Agodon...

Small Knots is a tender and terrifying collection of poems that maps the development of breast cancer, celebrates the family and life's daily small joys, and meditates on what connects us to the world.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   88
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.3" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 30, 2004
Publisher   Wordtech Communications
ISBN  1932339272  
ISBN13  9781932339277  

Availability  0 units.

More About Kelli Russell Agodon

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Kelli Russell Agodon is the author of four books of poems: Hourglass Museum, Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room (Winner of the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Prize in Poetry and Finalist for the Washington State Book Award, ) Small Knots, and the chapbook, Geography. She also co-edited the first eBook anthology of contemporary women's poetry, Fire On Her Tongue. Connect with her at or visit her homepage at: Martha Silano is the author of four poetry collections, including the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize winning The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, an Academy of American Poets Noted Book of 2011 and finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and Reckless Lovely, also from Saturnalia. She is poetry editor of Crab Creek Review and teaches creative writing and composition at Bellevue College. Martha blogs at Blue Positive: http: //

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Disorders & Diseases > Cancer > Breast Cancer
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Small Knots?

A lively first collection  Dec 3, 2004
Agodon's first collection is as lively as its stunning cover promises. The 50 poems are neatly divided into three thematic sections, each spotlighting a different chapter of a woman's life: family matters, romance, the betrayals of the body. These sections are tightly and cleverly held together by a sewing motif which weaves its way throughout the poems. The reader will find much humor here as well as bold confrontations with family secrets and breast cancer. The reader will also find sensuous imagery and imaginative metaphors, as in these lines from "Living Room Explorers":

Let me slip off my boot of Italy, my sweater
of Zimbabwe and map the dining room table,
the chairs, the matching ocean-colored plates.

We're a number on the earth: latitude wine,
longitude bread and trying
to become our own island.

Agodon writes in free verse but with a formal elegance in this collection which records both the delights and the shadows of a woman's life.
Small Knots  Sep 5, 2004
Kelli Russell Agodon writes poetry that consistently surprises. A universal feminine wisdom underlies beautiful passages, where one finds the candid voice and humor of the EveryWoman,

"sometimes I lose the checkbook for days

or the note with the phone message
I jotted down while eating egg rice,

using head and eye gestures
to tell my daughter not to slide pennies

into the CD player, to take
the Venetian beads off the cat."

Agodon is fearless in her willingness to incorporate contemporary imagery and culture in her poems while remaining reverent to classical influences such as Neruda. She also takes discussions of female body image to a refreshing new place where women readers can laugh and nod and enjoy a brief release from antiquated social expectations. And Agodon takes her readers across the threshold between the living and the dead in a way that evokes curiosity and serenity rather than fear.

Small Knots' dynamic cover image (by artist Nancy Canyon Dirmeyer) and the book's page design are both quite exquisite, as well.

Agodon's is a voice for our future. Keep an eye out for her.
Maps to ashes to the Sacre Coeur: Agadon's poetry aims high  Aug 5, 2004
In this stunning collection Agadon takes us from the Mexican highway to topless beaches, from Cleopatra to Revelations. While her world is vast and wide, Agodon's images are, indeed, small knots of craft and surprise. In poem after poem, this reader delights in the syllables and sounds of lines like "it's the unbutton my shirt conclusion, the tango with needles in my flesh-colored suit."

These poems tell of lives lived deeply in pain and delight. "It's easy to wake up in someone's poem" explores how we end up living in worlds we never expected. "God sets us in boats and pushes us on to the lake," Agadon tells us. I for one, want this book with me as I take the ride.
Heartbreaking, lovely  Jul 17, 2004
Agodon's first book deals with the tangles that loss brings to a life - the loss of love, the loss of health, the loss of loved ones - as well as the philosophical musings of a well-read mind about the connections we make in life with writers, places, even objects. The writing is well-paced and lyrical, with humorous and heartbreaking twists. Her word choices and images are always apt. Favorite poems of mine include "Sailing Lepidoptera" and "After My Last Chemo Appointment, I Steal Page Six from The Children's Illustrated Book of Bible Stories." Here are some lines from "Pablo Neruda Lemons," a particularly sensual poem: "Some say you will fall/ in love after sucking them/dry,//that if you cut through/ their center, the sea will/ open in your veins.//Believe me when I say they are/ the tips of flame/ you undress in front of...You will want to be in the hands that peel them,/ to disappear/ in this stranger's skin."
Enjoy this book!

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