Guthrie, Camille: Diamonds
BOA Editions, paperback
Publication Date: October 5, 2021
Publisher Marketing: Diamonds presents a woman in midlife on the edge. In hilarious and heartbreaking poems, Camille Guthrie writes about the trials and surprises of divorce, parenting, country life--and the difficulties and delights of being alone, looking at art, and falling in love.
Witty resilience abounds in these irreverent poems about grief and desire--in which the poet meditates upon gender roles, history, pop culture, and academia. Guthrie subverts and teases traditional forms in an elegy about Sylvia Plath's prom dress, a dating profile for Hieronymus Bosch, a sestina about beauty and power--with radical dramatic monologues in the voices of Madame du Barry, a Pict Woman, and more. Unlike Virgil, who refuses to guide this poet through her journey at midlife, Guthrie leads readers by the hand into a provoking, affecting journey of a break-up and a reconciliation with love.
"The poems in Diamonds were written by a tiger who survived divorce, single motherdom, middle age, and sleepless nights worrying about money and what clothes to wear, one who knows it could be worse but wants her revenge, which is--surprise--the revenge of an angel who possesses such intelligence, knowledge, charm, and wit that these poems, from Björk to Bosch, pay us in diamonds and bless us all."
"Camille Guthrie's Diamonds is a glorious feminist midlife scream, screed, and ode to the 'paradoxes and oxymorons' of a divorced mother's struggles. With the dark formal wit of Philip Larkin and cutting rage of Sylvia Plath, Guthrie goes there, with hilarious piss and vinegar, on the Sisyphean defeats of an academic stranded; a mother burdened; a consumerist broke; a woman who's had enough. Plundering the wisdom from Shakespeare, Keats, and Butler, along with the wisdom of online flotsam, Guthrie creates a fresh ribald collection that is all too relatable and unputdownable."
--Cathy Park Hong