Poetry. LGBTQIA Studies. Winner of the 2016 Norma Farber First Book Award. In her debut full-length poetry collection COMPANION ANIMAL, Magdalena Zurawski delivers poems as distilled acts of reckoning, always engaged with the question: what could poetry "do with or for or around all that?" Of the book, Jennifer Moxley writes, "Beautifully continuing what was so engaging about the work of New American poets such as Jack Spicer and Robert Creeley, these poems are hyper-aware of their contradictions, yet completely emotionally vulnerable. They refuse cynicism and pretense, and such a refusal explodes any possibility of intellectual distancing or emotional hiding."
"A few years ago, armed with seven books, and guided by a small dog, Magdalena Zurawski decided to start over as a poet. She was in the kind of mood where extravagant poetic language can appear dishonest, so, for the most part, she limited the contents of her poems to what was strictly necessary. But in each poem she did exactly one unnecessary thing—often the unnecessary thing was the appearance of the small dog—and that was how she reinvented poetry. Rarely has the poetic impulse been isolated with such intensity. Rarely has it cohabited so successfully with plain speech. Here are the eagerly anticipated results. Wise, forceful, honest, clean as a whistle yet with a shockingly foul mouth, and very doggy. Sometimes the nastiest parts are also the nicest parts. I find that inspiring."—Aaron Kunin
"The ubiquitous beloved dog, lost gone-to-spirit friends still haunting, and a blazing self inside the complex structure that incubates all poetry weave here and are the COMPANION ANIMAL. I love Zurawski's wit, street smart attitude and uber chastity for the poem, its essence always questioned and explored. Confessional and skinny shapeshifting combine here in a matrix of insouciant wonder. Be part of it, be wowed and charmed by heartbreak and mammal restlessness."—Anne Waldman
"A poem in COMPANION ANIMAL might be offhand, abject, stark, tender, cutting, lonesome, wise & fierce—& might ride doubt up to its feverish surface then reverberate off the edge of an utterance with crystalline clarity while escaping clarity's costume—might be on the way to or from repairing hubbub—might slip hand of quip into hand of ache (or vice-versa)—& might be or be doing all or several of these things while still being a thing of relative and absolute shapeliness at once. Some of these poems are so big in the spare rooms they make, I already consider them permanent company."—Anselm Berrigan
author siteDana Johnson @ New PagesDarcie Dennigan @ Boston ReviewPeter Burnzynski @ Woodland Pattern
Magdalena Zurawski is the author of BEING HUMAN IS AN OCCULT PRACTICE (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2020), the novel The Bruise, which won the Ronald Sukenick Award from FC2 in 2008 and a LAMBDA literary award in 2009, and the collection of poems COMPANION ANIMAL, which was published by Litmus Press in 2015 and won a Norma Faber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. THE TINIEST MUZZLE SINGS SONGS OF FREEDOM (Wave Books, 2019) is her most recent poetry collection. Her poem/essay Don't Be Scared is available as a chapbook from The Operating System. As an undergraduate Magdalena studied with poets Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop, C.D. Wright, and Peter Gizzi. She has lived in Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Durham, NC where she ran the Minor American Reading Series. She is currently Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia, where she directs the Creative Writing Program.Author City: ATHENS, GA USA