Year of the Snake: Poems by Lee Ann Roripaugh (Paperback)
  • Year of the Snake: Poems by Lee Ann Roripaugh (Paperback)
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Year of the Snake: Poems by Lee Ann Roripaugh (Paperback)

(author), (volume editor)
£17.50
Paperback 80 Pages / Published: 28/02/2004
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In her second collection of poems, Year of the Snake, Lee Ann Roripaugh probes themes of mixed-race female identities, evoking the molting processes of snakes and insects, who shed their skins and shells, as an ongoing metaphor for transformation of self. By intertwining contemporary renditions of traditional Japanese myths and fairy tales with poems that explore the landscape of childhood and early adolescence, she blurs the boundaries between myth and memory, between real and imagined selves. This collection explores cultural, psychological, and physical liminalities and exposes the diasporic arc cast by first-generation Asian mothers and their second-generation daughters, revealing a desire for metamorphosis of self through time, geography, culture, and myth.

Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
ISBN: 9780809325696
Number of pages: 80
Weight: 136 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
Edition: Second Edition


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Lee Ann Roripaugh's book is one of the strongest, most illuminating volumes in [the] Crab Orchard Award series. Year of the Snake, Roripaugh's second book, is full of surprises and bristling imagery and line work, and it contains a fascinating sequence of poems on numerous varied topics. . . . When Roripaugh reveals more than the poem might hint at upon first reading, she keeps going, and it is a joyous ride to experience each and every line."--The Bloomsbury Review
"'Does this mean each moment is an astonishment?' Lee Ann Roripaugh's question is answered over and over again with a resounding 'Yes!' in this stunning new collection, Year of the Snake. Out of the shimmer and sparkle of the insects and fish she remembers with such jeweled precision, she recreates her childhood in Wyoming in one exquisite poem after another. A child of two cultures, Japan and the American West, Roripaugh looks back in amazement at the details of her lost world of hummingbirds, snakes, Nanking cherries, falling stars, and antelope jerky. As she comes to understand the unappeasable hunger that drove both her and the Yellow Monarch out of paradise, her adult yearning is transformed into spiritual resurrection."--Maura Stanton, author of Glacier Wine

"This is Lee Ann Roripaugh at the height of her powers. Precise and unforgettable images about family and community make these poems sing and stay with you days after you have gently put the book down. She is a 'fish with a third, wide eye' delivering unflinching truths. I believe that Roripaugh is one of the dozen or so best poets writing in America today."--Nick Carb , author of Secret Asian Man

"What lyrical gems. Poems like diamonds faceted with the Japanese-American diaspora, our lives scattered and thrust into Lee Ann Roripaugh's utterly exquisite canvas of sky and pen."--Lois-Ann Yamanaka, author of Heads by Harry


Year of the Snake by Lee Ann Roripaugh, Southern Illinois, 2004, 70p, paper $14.95, Maura Stanton's blurb for this book accurately labels Roripaugh's style as "jeweled precision." Check out her tree frogs: "Slippery, muscled / bodies emerald bright, / their bulbous fingers / were sticky and clever- / swivel of gleaming, / prehistoric eye and tender / palpitating bellies." Consonance of m, l, and din muscled and emerald; assonance of short i and schwa in fingers and swivel; alliteration in prehistoric and palpitating; end rhyme of clever and tender-subtle, almost invisible effects. Roripaugh's poems, while meticulously crisp in craft, always emphasize heart: our inevitable human connections.

-- (09/30/2008)

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