Poetry. Alysse Kathleen McCanna's debut poetry collection interrogates the self through the concept of pentimento. An art historical term, pentimento occurs when traces of previous work are revealed, indicating the artist changed aspects of her composition during the process of creation. Employing a playful exploration of layers, alteration, and history, these poems map the myriad paths that unfold before us, and catalogue our navigation through lust, love, and loss. Also the Italian word for repentance, pentimento is made visible using infrared reflectography; in these poems, McCanna shines a light upon the lives we paint ourselves into, and the revisions and revelations we find there. What's exposed is a refractive, multidimensional portrait of selfhood, rendered in twin layers of grief and hope.
Alysse Kathleen McCanna's poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from North American Review, The Rumpus, Grist, Poet Lore, Pembroke, Harpur Palate, and other journals. Her poetry has been featured on poets.org and Verse Daily, and her reviews have appeared in American Book Review and The Operating System. FISHWIFE, forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press, is her first full-length collection. FISHWIFE was a finalist for the 2022 Barrow Street Book Prize, a semi-finalist for the 2021 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry and the 2021 and 2022 Perugia Press Prizes, and made it to the top 10 in the 2022 Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize. Alysse's chapbook Pentimento was selected by Safiya Sinclair and published by Gold Line Press in 2019. Her work has been supported by fellowships and residencies from Vermont Studio Center, New York State Summer Writers Institute, and Sundress Academy for the Arts. She holds a PhD in English from Oklahoma State University, an MFA from Bennington College, and serves as Associate Editor of Pilgrimage Magazine. She is an Associate Professor of English at Colorado Mountain College.