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Blackacre: Poems
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Graywolf Press 2016
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*Winner of the William Carlos Williams Award**National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist**Included in The New York Times Best Poetry of 2016**Named one of The Washington Post's Best Poetry Collections of 2016** Longlisted for the National Book Award*

"Blackacre" is a centuries-old legal fiction—a placeholder name for a hypothetical estate. Treacherously lush or alluringly bleak, these poems reframe their subjects as landscape, as legacy—a bereavement, an intimacy, a racial identity, a pubescence, a culpability, a diagnosis. With a surveyor's keenest tools, Youn marks the boundaries of the given, what we have been allotted: acreage that has been ruthlessly fenced, previously tenanted, ploughed and harvested, enriched and depleted. In the title sequence, the poet gleans a second crop from the field of Milton's great sonnet on his blindness: a lyric meditation on her barrenness, on her own desire—her own struggle—to conceive a child. What happens when the transformative imagination comes up against the limits of unalterable fact?

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/06/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781555979461
ASIN:
B01LW7PWFZ
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APA Citation (style guide)

Monica Youn. (2016). Blackacre: Poems. Graywolf Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Monica Youn. 2016. Blackacre: Poems. Graywolf Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Monica Youn, Blackacre: Poems. Graywolf Press, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Monica Youn. Blackacre: Poems. Graywolf Press, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Youn, Monica
      • bioText: Monica Youn was raised in Houston, Texas. A former Stegner Fellow, she has published poems in numerous anthologies and journals, including Agni, Fence, and Poetry. She currently lives in Manhattan, where she is an intellectual property lawyer.
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shortDescription

* Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award in Poetry *
* A Publishers Weekly Fall 2016 Top 10 Poetry Selection *
* One of Brooklyn Magazine's 100 Books to Read in 2016 *

"Blackacre" is a centuries-old legal fiction—a placeholder name for a hypothetical estate. Treacherously lush or alluringly bleak, these poems reframe their subjects as landscape, as legacy—a bereavement, an intimacy, a racial identity, a pubescence, a culpability, a diagnosis. With a surveyor's keenest tools, Youn marks the boundaries of the given, what we have been allotted: acreage that has been ruthlessly fenced, previously tenanted, ploughed and harvested, enriched and depleted. In the title sequence, the poet gleans a second crop from the field of Milton's great sonnet on his blindness: a lyric meditation on her barrenness, on her own desire—her own struggle—to conceive a child. What happens when the transformative imagination comes up against the...

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title
Blackacre
fullDescription

*Winner of the William Carlos Williams Award*
*National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist*
*Included in The New York Times Best Poetry of 2016*
*Named one of The Washington Post's Best Poetry Collections of 2016*
* Longlisted for the National Book Award*


"Blackacre" is a centuries-old legal fiction—a placeholder name for a hypothetical estate. Treacherously lush or alluringly bleak, these poems reframe their subjects as landscape, as legacy—a bereavement, an intimacy, a racial identity, a pubescence, a culpability, a diagnosis. With a surveyor's keenest tools, Youn marks the boundaries of the given, what we have been allotted: acreage that has been ruthlessly fenced, previously tenanted, ploughed and harvested, enriched and depleted. In the title sequence, the poet gleans a second crop from the field of Milton's great sonnet on his blindness: a lyric meditation on her barrenness, on her own desire—her own struggle—to conceive a child. What happens when the transformative imagination comes up against the limits of unalterable fact?

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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        August 15, 2016
        This third collection from Youn (Ignatz) finds her tightly yet playfully interrogating inheritance and legacy, real and fictional landscapes, and the particular bodily experience of a woman hoping to conceive. The title refers to a legal term denoting a type of fictional entity, a hypothetical real estate; Youn’s legal background (she was a practicing lawyer for years) emerges in her attention to detail and ability to parse concepts. Formally and syntactically diverse, the poems often portray a mature, professional woman wrestling with the philosophy and psychology of all that that life entails. Word play abounds (“a statement// of intent, of well-meant/ amends; an acquiescent an-/ athema in its seam-/ less unseen net”), as do references to working life and an intellectualized distancing when dealing with corporeality (“one day they showed me a dark moon ringed/ with a bright nimbus on a swirling gray screen/ they called it my last chance for neverending life/ but the next day it was gone”). Throughout, Youn’s lawyerly analyses—of life, of herself, her feelings, and of language—cut through the poetic to a place that lies triangulated between poetry, lyric memoir, and textual analysis. It is in that latter element that Youn deconstructs the nature of possession and boundedness; in the act of self-claiming, Youn wonders, did she make herself “into a resource that was bounded, and, therefore, exhaustible?”

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2016

        Just as John Milton reflected on his blindness in his sonnet, "When I Consider How My Light Is Spent," Youn reflects on her barrenness in her latest book of poetry. The author of two previous collections, Barter and Ignatz, a finalist for the National Book Award, Youn is a lawyer-turned-poet/writing professor. This book takes an almost childlike delight in wordplay as it blends autobiography with images from nature as well as allusions to Tarot cards, biblical passages, and works by Milton, e.e. cummings, Virginia Woolf, and others. The title comes from the law school concept of "blackacre," a legal fiction meaning a hypothetical estate just as John Doe is a hypothetical name. Youn bases many of the poems on this concept calling them "Whiteacre," "Greenacre," "Brownacre," etc. The title poem--heavy with allusions to Milton's sonnet--is a lengthy prose poem about her inability to bear a child and her subsequent efforts to conceive using in vitro fertilization. VERDICT Ultimately, this collection contains a somewhat uneasy though generally pleasing mix of references and styles ranging from minimalist, Zenlike offerings to free verse to full-throated prose poems. Sophisticated readers should investigate.--C. Diane Scharper, Towson Univ., MD

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

awards
      • source: The National Book Critics Circle
      • value: National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
subtitle
Poems
popularity
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publisher
Graywolf Press
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