Poetry. LGBTQIA Studies. A criminal released from death row hints he was guilty of murder all along, a special needs man raised on nothing but sermons attempts to explain COINTELPRO in black protests, a woman abducted and forced to raise her half-alien children remembers everything, Chinese-looking agents hired by the US to overthrow China, kill Chinese soldiers outside Tiananmen Square. TALL AS YOU ARE TALL BETWEEN THEM is an exercise in possibility. Where many reporters shock and numb their audiences with a relentless stream of violence and insanity while skipping or inadequately addressing inconvenient questions, Christain starts with these questions, zooms in, hovers, and rewinds. The bizarre, disturbing, and uncomfortable scenarios presented in her poems are written with an earnestness that possesses just the right degree of plausibility to leave the reader asking time and time again, "What if?" At first glance, is otherworldly sci-fi horror. In the end, the book is too familiar. In fact, it is our very own—the underbelly and in-between of a shifting and sliding world where much meaning is found through context and brain chemistry. All the while, Christain teaches us to peel back the layers, to be fearless—"to jump towards the atom blast if [we're] going to be forced to fall back anyway," and to enjoy the ride.
Julie Marie Wade @ Lambda LiteraryEve Kenneally @ CutBank
Annie Christain is an assistant professor of composition and ESOL at SUNY Cobleskill with poems appearing in Seneca Review, Oxford Poetry, The Chariton Review, and The Lifted Brow, among others. She received the grand prize of the 2013 Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Contest, the 2013 Greg Grummer Poetry Award, the 2015 Oakland School of the Arts Enizagam Poetry Award, and the 2015 Neil Shepard Prize in Poetry. Additional honors include her being selected for the Shanghai Swatch Art Peace Hotel Artist Residency and the Arctic Circle Autumn Art and Science Expedition Residency.Author City: COBLESKILL, NY USA