Poet & Professor
My My (Saturnalia Books, 2020)
Ecopoetic at its core, Kristi Maxwell's MY MY is concerned about the world, "that abundant stray," and scrutinizes the messiness of humans' relationships to each other and to the nonhuman—how acts of seeing can lift up or erase. Maxwell's seventh book operates under the sign of "or," testing out alternatives and revisions in the hopes of landing on a truth that can be lived with. Part-sigh, part-sly, these poems make friends with their own shiftiness and recognize that the imperfect might be the best place to look for our next c(l)ues.
Enter the ring and behold these adamant poems! Kristi Maxwell's illuminated My My is a lifetime; time is built, word by word, in imagistic cadence refusing to give up its rhythm: joy, annoyance, joy, sunsets in the time of climate change, joy, meat, etc. This is a world of ghosts, a world animated by questions ('Where is the power: seeing oneself / or seeing another,') a world that is tender and human. Enter the dream of these poems and live for a while, steered by 'the sun a wheel you can’t reach to turn.'"
Emily Kendal Frey, author of Lovability
Praise & Reviews
How I long to sit on a patio in the summer with the brilliant Kristi Maxwell, inside 'the foam night' of her poems. Like Emily Dickinson, Maxwell is fierce, twisting and turning loss itself with wordplay and wit. And also like Dickinson, language is simultaneously foreshadowed and recedes to the background, a playful ghost disquieting a room. 'What field aspires to be a lawn?' she asks, mourning the wildness of our formal world. Compassionate, eclectic and clever, My My is a book that tenderly reminds us 'we were each made/ beyond our own.'"
Sandra Simonds, author of Triptychs
Traversing from one love, one front porch, one credit rating to another, a writer leans back into what, exactly, in order to cast her regard over all that difference? 'My, my,' we say, in the colloquial sense, to pass judgement without naming lord, goodness, word. But Maxwell knows how to haul elisions back home. By reclining into the interstices between words, she wields repetition less to reconcile one word in itself, than to imbue the second instance with all the difference the first had to traverse to get there. Or rather, Maxwell’s new colloquial makes the home and then makes it larger, for '[t]here are still more women
Farid Matuk, author of The Real Horse
Virtual & In-Person
About Kristi Maxwell
Kristi Maxwell is the author of seven books of poems, including My My (Saturnalia Books, 2020); Realm Sixty-four, editor’s choice for
the Sawtooth Poetry Prize and finalist for the National Poetry Series; Hush Sessions, editor’s choice for the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize; and Re-, finalist for the National Poetry Series.
She’s an associate professor of English at the University of Louisville and a 2022-23 American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellow.