Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Trestling by Bernadette Ulsamer


Trestling by Bernadette Ulsamer is a stunning book of blood, bone, and body parts. I am song, I am incorruptible…says this brave speaker—and she is. She is the one who writes through resistance to say the things we’re not supposed to say. In these poems of original voice, telling becomes a splay of slashing details in which lingerie is a character, class is a character, and survival is not a given. This is a writer who can start a poem with Ash Wednesday and end it with deep hunger: …like some cheerleader swallowing/a black-eye greased football player/still unshowered after the game.

--Jan Beatty, Author of The Switching/Yard

I kissed the dirty ground, Ulsamer writes, and that is what her poems do:  strike a balance between love’s grit and love’s daily exhalations. In language that sharpens our ears to the music of plain speech, Trestling takes us into bedrooms and bars, hospital rooms and court rooms.  We see, in striking and memorable detail, blood and bras, hands clutching hips and hands clutching rail tracks as a night train approaches. Ulsamer’s world is a tricky one, and these poems face its dangers head on—not for the thrill, not for the challenge, but as a reckoning that this is what life is:  messy, frightening, and scream-worthy beautiful. 

--Nancy Krygowski, Author of Velocity 

About the Author:

Bernadette Ulsamer earned an MFA from Carlow University where she is a member of Madwomen in the Attic. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Pittsburgh City Paper, The Main Street Rag, Girls with Glasses Literary Journal, Cossack Literary Journal, Roar Magazine, The Broken Plate, and has been anthologized in Voices from the Attic and Along These Rivers. Her poem “ICU, Holy Thursday” was long-listed for the International Fish Poetry Prize 2013.

32 pages, 25 poems

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