Poetry. Decades in gestation, the riveting, poem-memoir THE GATES OF PEARL is woven together from a mother's Overeater's Anonymous journal written in the 1970s, mother-daughter telephone conversations, and the poet-daughter's exquisite verses... And here is the mother-daughter relationship with Pearly confessing her most private self to her grown child over the telephone. No attempt is made to prettify the mother's fragments and idiosyncratic stream-of-consciousness. Too much of Pearly's shimmering originality, her lyricism, and transgressive voice would be lost. Taboos of silence are broken. I leave the bed—I go towards an icy box—holding out its frozen breasts and erect Penis to me. The daughter responds in meticulous, impassioned verse that provides a counterpoint to the mother's flying-off-the-shelves imagery. Chiseled, Sappho-like in places, unscripted free-style in others, The Gates of Pearl is an impassioned lament of dark beauty. It is also a celebration. Listen to Pearly: My eyes were riveted on the huge banana trees... Lo and behold thru the dark purplish large leaves right before our eyes like a birthing came the stalk of bananas. I had seen Nature's unabashed sexual blaze of glory—an erection.
Karen Corinne Herceg @ North of OxfordChristine Stewart-Nuñez @ Mom Egg ReviewStephanie Emily Dickinson @ Pratik Magazine
Jill Hoffman is the Founding Editor of Mudfish (Box Turtle Press), and of the Mudfish Individual Poet Series. She has a B.A. from Bennington College, an M.A. from Columbia University and a Ph. D. from Cornell University. BLACK DIARIES (Mudfish Individual Poet Series # 2) was published by Box Turtle Press in 2000. Her first book of poems, Mink Coat, was published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1973. She was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1974-75. Jilted, a novel, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1993. She has taught in major universities (Bard, Barnard, Brooklyn, Columbia) and published in major magazines, such as The New Yorker and Paris Review. She has led the Mudfish writing workshop in Tribeca since 1990. She is also a painter.