Lena – Poems
Cassie Pruyn's LENA asks new questions: why we love, why we grieve. We've read elegies before, but not like this. A lush and unsparing first book, LENA asks readers to understand love-crucially, a first love, an erotic love-in the context not of a love lost but instead of an identity gained: we must consider not only "was she worth it?," but also "who has she made me?" Pruyn lets us feel what lovers feel-the magnetism, the physicality, the tenderness, the rage, the wondering-with language both musical and visceral. In these poems, the landscape is a character in itself; the past is as tangible as the present. Pruyn takes us to the "Lost Love Lounge," we ride in a "car / red as a dragon," and we observe the beloved "stick herself in the belly with a needle" in the way "she used to attach her cufflinks." This is love and grief raised to the highest power; it is a debut not to be missed.
About Cassie Pruyn (Portland, Maine Author)
Cassie Pruyn is a New Orleans-based writer and researcher, born and raised in Portland, Maine. A graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, her poems have appeared in AGNI Online, The Los Angeles Review, The Common, Salt Hill Journal, Poet Lore, and others. She is the author of Bayou St. John: A Brief History (The History Press 2017), and of Lena, winner of the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry (Texas Tech University Press 2017). She teaches at Bard Early College in New Orleans.