Julie Carr is the author of four books of poetry, Mead: An Epithalamion, Equivocal, 100 Notes on Violence (winner of the 2009 Sawtooth Award), and Sarah—Of Fragments and Lines (a 2010 National Poetry Series selection). Her critical study of Victorian Poetry, Surface Tension: Ruptural Time and the Poetics of Desire in Late Victorian Poetry, is forthcoming from Dalkey Archive in 2012. She is the copublisher, with Tim Roberts, of Counterpath Press and coruns the bookstore/gallery/performance space, Counterpath, in Denver.
The central subject in Julie Carr’s debut poem collection is marriage. Intimacy is examined, not only in terms of the erotic, the quotidian, and the contractual, but also in terms of the intertextual: the pact between reader and writer and the blending of texts that results. Motherhood also figures as a kind of marriage-a bond that includes affective, legal, and sensual elements.
Using a variety of poetic structures—prose poems, stanzaic forms, concrete poems, fractured lyrics, direct dialogue, and discursive modes—Carr simultaneously embraces and breaks from the expected and the known, revealing the precarious balance between our desire for narrative, sequence, drama, and resolution, on the one hand, and rupture, fragment, and fracturing, on the other.
Julie Carr’s second collection explores the elements of chance and mystery that determine human identity and relationships. In delving into the human fascination with the self’s story and the boundaries between the self and others (including family), these poems pose often unanswerable questions, but the reader delights in the wit and artistry used to explore them.
In 100 Notes on Violence, Carr obsessively researches intimate terrorism, looking everywhere from Whitman and Dickinson to lists of phobias and weapon-store catalogs for answers. Do they lie in statistics, in statements by and about rapists and killers, in the capacity for cruelty that the poet herself admits to? This book is a dream-document both of light and innocence—babies and the urge to protect them—and of giving in to a wrenching darkness, where despair lies in the very fact that no single factor is to blame.
A National Poetry Series winner, chosen by Eileen Myles
Set to the music of rain, these shattered elegies seek communion in the ethereal place between birth and death.
In the wake of a mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s and a child’s impending birth, Julie Carr gathers the shards of both mourning and joy to give readers poems that encompass it all: “Zebra and xylophone cyclone and sorrow.” Here she says, “Since I lost her I stored her like ore in my / form as if later I’d find her, restore her,” giving voice to the longing that accompanies life’s most profound losses and its most anticipated arrivals.