Erica Dawson’s First and Second Collection

big_eyes_afraidOxford American had this to say about the poet’s first collection:

Erica Dawson writes in assertive, sometimes defiant, declaratives. Her tone is terse and confident, though casual alliteration and staccato rhythms yield a vulnerable, youthful playfulness. The classical piano training and church choir days of Dawson’s youth are evident in the tightly coiled structure of her long, loping poems and their strict rhyme schemes, creating a pointed musicality that leaves readers rhythm-drunk. Her first collection,  Big-Eyed Afraid was published by Waywiser Press in 2007, when Dawson was twenty-seven. In Big-Eyed, poems shift easily from first to second person, though they never move into third; Dawson revels in the emboldened “I” and the righteous “you.” Her words go down easier than sun-warmed communion wine, like in these lines, at the end of “Brown recluse from the basement”:

You’re subterranean
In your own words. You’re Machiavellian.
You’re fine, big-voiced and mum, verbose and brief.
Rain swells in flooded corners, stains near one
Sole on its side with a clinging maple leaf.

small_bladesThey had this to say about The Small Blades Hurt:

While Big-Eyed Afraid is an unrelenting examination inward, Dawson’s second collectionThe Small Blades Hurt, published on January 1, reflects a self-professed “openness to experience things in a much more extroverted way.” In these new poems, she engages explicitly with the idea of place, referring to Oklahoma, Texas, and Tennessee—concrete geography absent from Big-Eyed...The Small Blades Hurt still succeeds in showcasing Dawson’s ability to convey vibrant sensory details, filtered through her ever-daring, playful perspective.  Both collections are a testament to Dawson’s uncanny wit and deft powers of inference and emphasis, unflinching assessments of how we define—then redefine and redefine—ourselves and the world around us…  The Small Blades Hurt still succeeds in showcasing Dawson’s ability to convey vibrant sensory details, filtered through her ever-daring, playful perspective.Both collections are a testament to Dawson’s uncanny wit and deft powers of inference and emphasis, unflinching assessments of how we define—then redefine and redefine—ourselves and the world around us.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s