The Bovine Two-Step
A Green Rose Book
An Inland Seas Poetry Book
Rebecca Reynolds’ first book, Daughter of the Hangnail, was selected for the 1998 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. In her second volume, Reynolds is bent on exploring interior interchanges between sound and sense: the seductions of language, the fund of sensual experience, informal feeling versus the logic of the world, and the desire for the imaginary as opposed to a reliance on public truths, to that which occurs within the “census-drawn depths.” InThe Bovine Two-Step, Reynolds tests delineations between the interior and exterior worlds, between self and world. The poems address these distinctions, often wrestling with the blur that results from their mingling. Revelations in these poems are small and quiet and open to questioning—and that is our human business.
“For the variety of its interests and sources, for the musicality of its lines, the clarity and diversity of its diction and for the high value it places on the idea of poetry, I choose Rebecca Reynolds’ Daughter of the Hangnail for this prize.”
—Ann Lauterbach, in her citation (Norma Farber First Book Award)
“This fun, bracingly smart first collection balances speculative epistimologies against surprising, seen things, panning from incident (‘man discovered with over 7OO birds’) to remote tangent: ‘his poor head, startled, / the way a floorpan is startled with wings.’ Reynolds’ comparisons propose and test definitions of self, pain, meaning; ‘The heart— / a canned tulip— / cannot bear itself. And the mind’s light masonry / houses a crap shoot, waterlit.’ . . . Reynolds stands out for her sharp juxtapositions, for her generous empathies, and for her sometimes-exceptional ear.”
—Stephen Burt, The Boston Review
Rebecca Reynolds was born and grew up in Washington, D.C. She received a B.A. from Vasser College, an M.A. in English from Rutgers University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. She has been the recipient of a Hopwood Award, a New Jersey State Council on the Arts grant, and the 1998 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America for Daughter of the Hangnail (New Issues, 1997). She teaches creative writing at Douglass College, the women’s college of Rutgers University, and is an Assistant Dean for Academic Services.