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Poetry. SHE LIVES THERE STILL is Mary Leader's second collection with Shearsman Books. In some senses, it is an extension of her previous Shearsman volume, BEYOND THE FIRE, in that it reinforces what John Muckle in PN Review described as, "The overall impression is of a mind that's acute, musical and subtle being brought to bear on everyday life." In other senses, it seeks radically to complicate any concept of the everyday to account for wisdom, but be warned, it is a peculiar wisdom. The "she" of the title is from a Mother Goose rhyme, but two key series ("A Warty Chin" and "A Withy Hut") and between them a key sequence ("Cornucopia of Arcadia") could also be called "Crone Cards." An initiating question asks: "And, well, should she rule for mythology / versus history? What material / difference is there?" And, well, seventy pages later, questions are still being asked: "Who are we, so / physically new?" Throughout, the reader will encounter Leader's characteristic passions for form and for variety. But the book also affords a tightly organized demonstration of what The New Yorker called Leader's "quite remarkable sensibility, which is one of the most self-possessed in contemporary poetry."
Mary Leader began writing poems in the midst of a career as a lawyer in her home state of Oklahoma, first as an Assistant State Attorney General and later as a Referee for the Oklahoma Supreme Court. She is the author of two award-winning books: Red Signature, a selection of the 1996 National Poetry Series, published by Graywolf Press in 1997; and The Penultimate Suitor, winner of the 2000 Iowa Poetry Prize, published by the University of Iowa Press in 2001. She is also the author of SHE LIVES THERE STILL and BEYOND THE FIRE, both from Shearsman Books.Author City: NORMAN, OK USA