A winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series mtvU Prize as selected by Yusef Komunyakaa (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), Kristin′s work perpetuates NPS′s tradition of promoting exceptional poetry from lesser known poets.Her poems are playful and serious all at once. They explore the richness of her cultural and linguistic heritage, which spans the globe from Mexico to the PhA winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series mtvU Prize as selected by Yusef Komunyakaa (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), Kristin′s work perpetuates NPS′s tradition of promoting exceptional poetry from lesser known poets.Her poems are playful and serious all at once. They explore the richness of her cultural and linguistic heritage, which spans the globe from Mexico to the Philippines. They defend with vigor and humor the color purple. And they analyze the insecurities of the letter ′h′ -- among other things.For thirty years, the National Poetry Series has discovered many new and emerging voices and has been instrumental in launching the careers of poets and writers such as Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Denis Johnson, Cole Swensen, Thylias Moss, Mark Levine, and Dionisio Martinez....
|Title||:||Bird Eating Bird|
|Number of Pages||:||112 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Bird Eating Bird Reviews
Bird Eating Bird is a dense tour de force that scarcely seems like a first book. It justly deserves its place in the National Poetry Series and as an MTV U award winner, as it hits the sweet spot of literary-skillful and highly accessible. Whether we are roaming the heartlands of Nebraska,the Philippines, Mexico City, or San Antonio Texas, Kristin Naca manages to take us there with vivid contemporary stories and linguistic precision. "The nubs of the tongue site fat and bulky as flowers./ Say, *tree*. What's there but bare branches and some bark. /No words for putting layers of skin on spring yet." That's the first three lines of "Not Yet." It sounds even better in Spanish as "Todavia No". For those not used to reading translations or skeptical of how something "not in English" can rock your world, fear not the multi-lingual nature of this book of poems. The entirely-Spanish poems are translated. Any embedded non-English words make sense in context. And what makes the mastery so rare and wonderful is that none of this language shifting seems bolted or stapled on; Naca merely moves back and forth and the reader easily moves with her. In addition to English, Spanish, and Tagalog it's fair to say that the language of the body is one the languages spoken here: from love in a motel room to a broken foot in a cast on a windowsill, to the exacting, tiny details of a woman's hands emerging from gloves. Besides adding sensuality and texture to the work, it also grounds the reader to the time,place, and culture of each poem, whether they themselves are from that time, place or culture themselves. You will devour Bird Eating Bird, I promise you.
Heard Kristin Naca read last night at Open Book.FANTASTIC!!!Her combination of irreverence and reverence is something I simply adore in poetry... my mind is full of great images, sounds, and ideas. Thank you Kristin Naca~
I like poems that are buildings of images; I like poems that are stories. Kristin Naca writes both those kinds of poems, and also writes lyrical poems, romantic poems, poems that play with language(s) and words. Sometimes the poems in this collection were too lyrical for me, or too language-focused, but others are just lovely, like "Speaking English Is Like" (read it here - scroll down a bit to find the link to it). =Other poems I liked a whole lot: "Uses for Spanish in Pittsburgh," with its images of rooftops and steeples and shoestores and its story of family, "Ode to Glass," about a Pepsi bottle and memory, "Grocery Shopping with My Girlfriend Who Is Not Asian," and "Las Meninas/The Maids of Honor," which is probably my favorite poem in this volume because it's so satisfyingly smart and conversational and visual and, well, also probably because it's about a painting. Also: parts of "House," a seven-section prose poem.
I like the sensual attention of language in "Glove," and the languorous description of drinking Pepsi from a bottle in "Ode to Glass." "Becoming" is a spirited tribute to the power of creativity. Several poems have long lines floating and wrapping, which surprise with their fresh imagery. "Driving, I-80" Nebraska is a glimpse into a meaningful conversation on the road, with the landscape anything but a passive observer. Beautiful visuals throughout, including "A pulp of stars through the sieve of Nebraska's thick, black sky" (from "Speaking Spanish Is Like."
Gorgeous range. Has a kind of humility that can turn implosive: “I should have asked for love like rent, up front.” But, at the same time, Naca’s memory is something to marvel and unabashedly on display. My favorite poems have the completely awesome effect of setting the reader down in front of a truth (about a friend, lover, locale) and then remembering them/it harder. Don’t be afraid of its MTV prize, which is just because this book knows how to meditate better than most. Komunyakaa deems it “perfectly tooled…witty, funny, and serious” and I completely agree more.
Earnestly asking about words, language, native tongue, and the translation of life from generation to generation and place to place. (Maybe too earnest for my current mood?) Answering with clear and sensuous images. With whole swaths in Spanish -- a treat.
This Minnesota writer (and Hamline professor) grapples with what it means to be have a heritage that includes America, the Philippines and South America. It's a fascinating glimpse into what many face.
Upcoming great first book
Naca moves the Earth. Keep watching.
Especially in love with the house variations, but 'vary' seems such a good word to connect to the whole, 'vary' and 'range,' as if I traveled somewhere in many different vehicles.