Book: Keeping My Name

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Book:

Keeping My Name

Author: Catherine Tufariello
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Publisher: Texas Tech University Press

Keeping My Name bears the stamp of an assured poet whose work has long appeared in major journals and anthologies. Though Tufariello is known in New Formalist circles as one of the most accomplished younger poets working in meter and rhyme, her poems will appeal broadly to readers of contemporary poetry. With a distinctive blend of craft and deep feeling, clarity and subtle thought, Tufariello gives new resonance to the historical and mythic past by drawing larger significance and universal themes from contemporary life.

Keeping My Name reflects a particular interest in and compassion for the lives of women, past and present. Its five sections offer a variety of repasts. One brings women of the Old and New Testaments to life with freshness and immediacy. Another traces the dissolution of a marriage; a third, the experience—rarely represented in poetry—of infertility and its high-tech treatment. Many poems are personal, but none merely confessional. At center, counterpoising the contemporary poems of love and grief, is a series of translations from Petrarch and other classic Italian love poets.

Tufariello’s poems address loss and longing, yet discover joy in everyday things—a walrus being fed at an aquarium, a small girl dancing at a wedding, a basketball game on a city playground. Her warmth, tempered by wit, is void of sentimentality. Readers who appreciate well-made, accessible, and memorable poems will find much to savor here.

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