“Rebecca Morgan Frank’s arresting and unflinching poems show what can still be done with the bittersweet stuff of longing that gave the art of the lyric its original reason for being. Everywhere she turns her rapt attention – pensive elegies and laments, gnomic riffs on things lost and found in the naked city, limber sonnets on nettling sins of the spirit and the flesh – she’s in her element, taking the measure of desire in language honed to a glittering edge. “Go ahead, reinvent the wheel,” one mordant poem here begins, and so she does, daring you to see another soul at the white heat with a mind and music all her own.” –David Barber
“As for me, I was merely an accessory.” In Rebecca Morgan Frank’s remarkable first book, the line that launches a story about feeding an injured raptor morphs hauntingly into ars poetica: “I was the dark room, the leather glove, the rope.” And in between, the countless “little murders” – the road kill, the rodents, the surplus chicks from a factory farm – that keep a red-tailed hawk alive. Captured in this parable are both the ruthless devotion to beauty and the yet-more-ruthless devotion to clear-eyed rendering that make Little Murders Everywhere an extraordinary debut. The elegant formal variations in these poems, the structuring alliterations, the density and precision of the figurative imagination would almost suffice on their own but, wonderfully, they have no need to do so. They add up, as in all true poetry, to a way of seeing.” –Linda Gregerson
“The poems in Rebecca Morgan Frank’s debut collection Little Murders Everywhere bring to mind the former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky’s assertion that all poetry is meant to be read out loud, to be savored on the tongue. The words spill forth in a tumble of image, idea and sound, offering multi-layered pleasures. Even as we recoil from the gruesome reality of animal dissection or the grotesque self-mutilation in a carnival act, we cannot help but delight in the irregular music of layered sound. And if we are honest with ourselves, we cannot help but press our noses close to the glass of the spectacles depicted in clear-eyed terms.” –Deborah Bennett in The Tottenville Review.
Little Murders Everywhere is available for order through Salmon Poetry, Powell’s Books, Amazon, or your local independent bookstore. Rebecca Morgan Frank’s second collection, The Spokes of Venus, is forthcoming from Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2016.
Book cover photograph courtesy of Rosamond Purcell.