Poetry. Cameron Gearen's first full-length collection of poetry, SOME PERFECT YEAR, opens with a poem entitled Invitation, and it's one we should heed. 'Come with stones and a selectively green car. / I've set aside a weekend for crying and sleeping,' the poem begins. Indeed, it would be a treat to spend a weekend or longer with this book. Crying might result as some of the subject matter is heavy, but Gearen leads us to a tentative redemption in the end: her final poem, called Aubade, mentions 'the morning's promise,' and foretells a more sanguine future. The book is knit together with epigraphs to those to whom Gearen owes a debt, including Paul Celan, Emily Dickinson, and the British analyst and pediatrician D.W. Winnicott. Within the poems themselves, lines are occasionally borrowed from poets Anne Carson and Robert Lowell; the book's title is a line from Dickinson. One striking thing about Gearen's voice is that she musters humor even in the face of undeniable horror, and the humor is a relief and a release. A good example of her arch tone can be found in the opening of her poem, Apology for an Incident after The Sleeping Beauty: 'Sweetie, / about that little café table / I almost shoved into your groin / on Amsterdam Avenue;'. The speaker does seem sorry, as the poem unfolds, but also able to laugh at human foibles and drama even as she enacts them. Gearen explores the conventions of widowhood in her Greta series. She also touches on the concepts of sin and redemption in her series of seven prose poems on the 'deadly sins.' Other themes include motherhood and daughterhood, alienation caused by living abroad, and sexual abuse. Since Robert Pinsky picked her chapbook, Night, Relative to Day, for publication ten years ago, readers have been eagerly awaiting Gearen's first full-length collection. With its arresting imagery and its sonic surety, SOME PERFECT YEAR does not disappoint.
Cameron Gearen published a poetry chapbook entitled Night, Relative to Day, selected by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. Her poetry has appeared in Fence, The Antioch Review, Toad, the poker, Crazyhorse, The Bakery, Spinoza Blue, and in many other journals. She won the Grolier Prize, the W.B. Yeats Society Prize and the Lynda Hull Prize from Crazyhorse and was a recipient of the Barbara Deming / Money for Women Fund. She publishes essays in Dame Magazine and blogs daily at camazon.tumblr.com. Her short fiction is up at The Easy Chair podcast. She works as a freelance writer and college counselor and lives outside of Chicago with her daughters and her dog. Author City: CHICAGO, IL USA