The Bucknell Series in Contemporary Poetry
When Aphrodite rises from the sea to touch her fingertip to Sappho's hand in "The Creation" - the first poem in Swimming with Dolphins - the world begins. From this startling and inventive recasting of creation, Adrian Oktenberg sets the tone for her second collection. An intelligent sensuality pulses through these poems of love and loss - marvelously present in the fullness of pleasure, equally present in moments of crushing grief. The poet refuses to make small any suffering, whether it is personal, as in matters of erotic or familial love, or historical and political, as in her poems on the Argentine "disappeared" and the McCarthyite period in the United States. She finds that "after plain, plenitude comes." "Swimming with Dolphins," the major long poem which is the centerpiece of the books, is a bold exploration of erotic possibilities between women and, at the same time, a lush evocation of the natural world. In profound ways, this book opens our senses and affirms the regenerative power of life and love, even in the face of personal or historical catastrophe.
About the author:
Adrian Oktenberg was born in Oakland, California in 1947. Her previous collections of poetry include The Bosnia Elegies (Paris Press, 1997) and a chapbook, Drawing in the Dirt (Malachite & Agate, 1997). Her work has appeared in journals such as The American Voice, Nimrod, Luna, New Letters, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, The Kenyon Review and The Women's Review of Books, and has been widely anthologized. She lives and works in Northampton, Massachusetts.