Kathleen Ossip

July

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In her groundbreaking and most politicized collection, Kathleen Ossip takes a hard look at the U.S.A. as it now stands. She meditates on our various responses to our country—whether ironic, infantile, righteous, or defeated. Her diction is both high and low, her tone both elegant and straightforward. The book’s crowning achievement, its anchor, and its centerpiece is the poem “July.” In a generous fifty pages, Ossip recounts a road trip from Bemidji, MN, to Key West, FL, with her daughter riding shotgun. Inspired by images that flick across their car windows and nurtured by intimate conversation and plenty of time to think, the poem has an entertaining cinematic sweep. There are poems based on bumper stickers, the names of churches, little shops. Traveling tests her beliefs, and Ossip fully discloses her doubts and confusions. Ossip is an unconventional, mighty magician with words.
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59 printed pages
Original publication
2021

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