2012 National Book Award Finalist,
Southern Illinois University Press
Cynthia Huntington’s Heavenly Bodies is a fearless and exacting exploration of illness, addiction, abuse, and the waning of American idealism. These poems are unblinking in the face of dark subject matter, and surprising in their capacity for hope, for grace. Huntington’s speakers are as vast and compassionate—as empathetic and multitudinous—as Whitman’s, and they sing of the beauty and seductive brutality of survival in a world perpetually “alight with new dangers.”
About the Book
In this blistering collection of lyric poems, Cynthia Huntington gives an intimate view of the sexual revolution and rebellion in a time before the rise of feminism. Heavenly Bodies is a testament to the duality of sex, the twin seductiveness and horror of drug addiction, and the social, political, and personal dramas of America in the 1960s. Echoing throughout are some of the most famous—and infamous—voices of the times: Joan Baez and Charles Manson, Frank Zappa and Betty Friedan. Jinns and aliens beckon while cities burn and revolutionaries thunder for change. At the center is the semiautobiographical Suzy Creamcheese, sensual and rebellious, both almighty and powerless in her sexuality.
About the Author
Cynthia Huntington is the author of four books of poetry, including The Radiant (winner of the Levis Prize), The Fish-Wife, and We Have Gone to the Beach, as well as a prose memoir, The Salt House. A former New Hampshire State Poet Laureate, she is professor of English at Dartmouth College, where she serves as senior faculty in creative writing. She served as chair of the poetry jury for the Pulitzer Prizes for 2006.
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