Death of a Ventriloquist
Winner of the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry, 2011. This debut collection includes love songs and prayers, palinodes and pleas, short histories and tragic tales as well as a series of ventriloquist poems that track the epiphanies and consequences of speaking in a voice other than one’s own. Other poems speak to a Beloved and the highs and lows of parenthood and personhood—all with music and verve, with formal dexterity, with sadness and humor, with an intimate voice that can both whisper in our ears and grab us by the collar and implore us to listen. “What drives the poems in this wonderfully animated debut volume and prompts the reader’s pleasure in them is the patent honesty of the poet’s voice. In the ‘ventriloquist’ series itself, Fay-LeBlanc creates a remarkable refracted self-portrait, bristling with moments of unabashed illumination.”—Eamon Grennan, author of Out of Sight “In the words of visual artist Paul Klee, whose synaesthetically suggestive work inspires this manuscript, ‘art doesn’t reproduce what we can see, it makes it visible.’ The turf of these poems is a ‘vision country’ in which our narrator / ventriloquist makes visible (and audible) the world to which he restlessly attends, offering up the ‘voices’ of everything. Formally deft, these poems address the limits and grace of lyric poetry.”—Lisa Russ Spaar, author of Satin Cash and judge
University of North Texas Press
English Language and Literature
Fay-LeBlanc, Gibson. Death of a Ventriloquist: Poems. University of North Texas Press, 2012.