Fulton’s new poems, chosen by Mark Strand as one of five winners in the National Poetry Series, embody the principle of poetry as an act of discovery. Fulton’s mutable images open inexorably onto new and different ones, creating a sort of psychedelia of impressions and experiences. The poetic logic is at times reminiscent of Cynthia Macdonald, as, for example, in “Orientation Day in Hades,” where the fate of the damned is an eternity of pepper-picking, or “Fictions of the Feminine: Quasi-Carnal Creatures from the Cloud-Decks of Venus,” where an intellectualized strip-joint stands in for the divine comedy. But Fulton is also deeply enamored of the red herring, of complex double entendre and forced ambiguity and of Pickwickian shifts in direction and emphasis that keep the reader puzzling. The diction that pulls off so many feats of magic ranges from high to low, densely poetic to colloquial, and is a wonder of its own. Fulton has received substantial recognition within the literary community, and this book should establish her among the poetry-reading public as an important young writer.

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Selected by

Mark Strand