If I Could Give You a Line
University of Akron Press
What does it mean to make something to share publicly when you are unsure of your own presence? If I Could Give You a Line cultivates the strangeness of presence in motherhood when the self is hyper-aware of its erasure. The collection explores its obsession with the physicality of visual art, down to the line, asserting and creating a voice that longs to be as present as a waver in the line of an Agnes Martin painting. A line that pulls you in to see the hand that made it. For Oeding's speakers, to look at art as mothers gives them permission to make it. Through humor, provocation, and uncertainty, this associative work builds momentary worlds of looking and connecting. The voice in these poems are confident in their performance and gesture to the reader to participate in their world-building, using materials like toddler garbage, preliterate scribbles, boiled green beans, James Turrell's skies, Cara Delevingne's eyebrows, and Yayoi Kusama's mirrors.
Carrie Oeding is the author of Our List of Solutions (42 Miles Press), which won the Lester M. Wolfson Prize. She was the recipient of the 2020 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts’ Fellowship in Poetry. Her work has appeared in such places as Bennington Review, Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, Pleiades, Mid-American Review, and DIAGRAM. She grew up on a southern Minnesota farm and currently lives in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.