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" Brimhall] allows us brief visions, glimpses, of experiences more lush and raw than our own."--The Rumpus
"With a stunning mastery of metaphor, linguistic precision, and a soulful determined vision, Brimhall's work reveals an artist tuned to the significance of everyday experience."--Dorianne Laux
"Saudade" is a Portuguese word referring to a quality of longing that has no direct translation into English. Inspired by stories from her Brazilian-born mother, Traci Brimhall's third collection--a lush and startling "autobiomythography"--is reminiscent of the rich imaginative worlds of Latin American magical realists. Set in the Brazilian Amazon, Saudade is one part ghost story, one part revival, and is populated by a colorful cast of characters and a recurring chorus of irreverent Marias.
From "Incomplete Address to the Lord":
When I found that mass of scales and muscle,
saw one anaconda twist around another, watched
a split tongue flick the air, choosing me, black
as the devil's own and twice as thick, males coiled
around the female tickling her back with their spurs,
I knew I'd give anything to be her. I felt the pulse
in my eyelid, tasted the ants that paraded over
my plantains at night, drank all the darkness out
of my wife's breast. Lord, I'd rather be crazy
than broken . . .
Traci Brimhall is the author of two previous poetry collections. She earned her PhD from Western Michigan University and is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Kansas State University. She lives in Manhattan, Kansas.