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Her Slender Dress

Susan Yuzna

73 pages
University of Akron Press
Her Slender Dress, the first volume of poetry to win the Akron Poetry Prize, follows Virginia Woolf's advice to women writers: to move out of the sitting room and into reality. The staccato, often fragmented, syntax of these poems is an attempt to recreate an attitude of perception in which the postmodern female is assaulted by various stimuli with the dizzying speed made possible by the electronic age. The world now happens faster than it can possibly be integrated into an individual consciousness. The postmodern American reality for women consists of a society in which the confrontation with the streets (including drug abuse, sexual or physical abuse) can be as immediate, as influential as the previous zone of power and comfort, home. But motherhood and marriage continue in importance, despite the changing cultural expectations. The title, taken from Blake's Little Girl Lost of the Songs of Innocence, reflects the essential and unifying element of this book: Her Slender Dress is more than a Vogue magazine cover, but may be interpreted as Blake's simple, elegant image of female corporeality. And it is from the physical body, the slender dress, that both the pain and the joy of being female emanate.
Author Bio
A Bush Writing Fellow in 1995, Susan Yuzna has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Montana, where she was a Richard Hugo Memorial Poetry Scholar. Yuzna teaches English at the University of North Dakota