“This brave and remarkable debut functions as one long poem and achieves extension through Stein-like repetition, and meaning through accretion and excess. In seeking a metaphorical ideal, Killough’s struggle to write is a struggle to understand her feelings for her nation—a process akin to a mother learning that her child is a murderer, a truth from which there can be no refuge or respite. Killough is a poet who is not afraid to be ‘too big.’ Her world cannot be contained within narrow margins; her sentences sprawl across the lines and pages like our own messy beloved geographies, the country we call home.”
Available in print.
Ann Killough's work has appeared in Fence, Field, Mudfish, Poetry Ireland, Salamander, Sentence and elsewhere. Her chapbook Sinners in the Hands: Selections from the Catalogreceived the 2003 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize from Texas Review Press. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, where she is one of the coordinators of the Brookline Poetry Series, as well as of the Mouthful Reading Series in Cambridge.
“[Beloved Idea] is an interesting trip through the minefield of metaphor. Each one you step on has the possibility of exploding.”
—The Great American Pin-Up
“Disentangling the complicated intersections of faith and American identity drive the progression of the twenty-three poems that make up Beloved Idea…The poems skirt on the edge of the breakdown of language as the metaphor takes on a variety of guises: sheep’s clothing, Melville’s white whale, an astronaut, the Mississippi River…Beloved Ideauses the idea of the metaphor to create pluralities of meaning within one word or symbol.”
“Astonishingly original and disturbingly urgent, Beloved Idea foregrounds metaphor as a means of exploring the nation in which we live. Using the sentence as a flexible prosodic unit, Ann Killough creates a sequence that offers linguistic delights and sly humor even as it forces us to confront the most difficult questions about our history, literature, politics, and culture.”
“Ann Killough’s voice is self-aware, skeptical, and inconsolable. With bracketed lower case titles and long strophic lines, with fragmented echoes of the white whale and the open road, and with proliferating metaphors that question the worth and nature of metaphor itself, Killough probes the soul of 21st century America and gives our own quiet desperation a name and vivid shape.”
“Beloved Idea investigates our world with passionately reasoned nearly desperate attention. Acknowledging the present we find ourselves questioning, Ann Killough braves multiple acts of metaphorical consequence. Reading this book awakens one’s desire to understand why we’re here and what we’re capable of thinking. It invites one’s mind to awaken. It is therefore a very, very good book.”
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