A World Just Outside of Tangibility: Lauren Berry's THE LIFTING DRESS

Carrie Chappell

Certain topics are so heart-wrenching that we find them difficult to express in literal terms. Lauren Berry’s debut collection The Lifting Dress—winner of Penguin’s 2010 National Poetry Series, selected by Terrance Hayes—explores the possibilities of figuration in post-traumatic narrative by opening up a broader palate of symbolism to confront the violence of one of the most monstrous human transgressions: rape.

Set in the humid-yawn of a watermarked Gulf Coast city, not unlike the small Florida town of the poet’s childhood home, Berry’s collection is grounded in the representation of a young girl’s emotional derangement and eventual coming-of-age in the threatening stalk of memory. The poems take us directly inside her synthesizing head.


Subscribe to RSS - Poetry