Jennifer Key takes the title of her first book of poetry from the nickname for the state of Virginia, but she extends the evocative phrase to reflect her complex understanding of domination and dominion in a multi-layered cultural context. The Old Dominion speaks to us with exceptional, insistent images and ideas. Her poems develop into intricate thematic relationships in a gorgeous collection.
Jennifer Key offers in her debut collection a “dominion” of girls and women . . . whose stories of subjugation, discovery, abjection, power, and qualified hope she renders with an extraordinary mature humor, irony, and tenderness. She moves with gracious force into the complex domain of womanhood, of selfhood, compelling us to heed her fiercely articulated “Old Dominion” with exhilarated attention. –Lisa Russ Spaar