Mississippi-based poet and author

Open House: Poems

 

Open House: Poems

Open House, Beth Ann’s first book, was published by Zoo Press in 2002 as the winner of the 2001 Kenyon Review Prize. It was reissued by W. W. Norton, Sept. 2009. Selected for the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award, Open House was also a Los Angeles Times Book Award Nominee and a BookSense Top Ten Poetry Pick. Individual poems in this volume won a Pushcart Prize, an Illinois Arts Councils grant, and the Wood Award from The Carolina Quarterly and were reprinted in The Best American Poetry, Poets of the New Century, and The Penguin Book of the Sonnet.

Beth Ann Fennelly is an ambitious and spacious young talent. The poems range widely in form and subject matter. . .there is a striking accuracy of language and notable skill that sets them apart, displaying a promising, authentic voice.
— PAUL ZIMMER IN THE GEORGIA REVIEW
With its high spirits, its love of textures of different kinds of writing, its search for ways to frame ambitious energies . . .the poem advances with a determination to keep the author interested and alive to her materials; in places, amused with itself and hopscotching, in places veering into unexpected depths; an immensely lively performance.
— ROBERT HASS, IN HIS CRITICAL INTRODUCTION TO THE KENYON REVIEW’S NEW VOICES FEATURE
Fennelly’s poems are consistently dramatic, complex in their perceptions and formal unfolding, enthralled with language. . .This is one of the most interesting, challenging, and accomplished first books to appear in recent years. . .Genuinely outstanding.
— THE HARVARD REVIEW
Beth Ann Fennelly’s Open House marks an auspicious debut for a poet not yet thirty years of age. In poems ranging from blank verse variations on the traditional sonnet to a sustained mediation in the highly elliptical and haunting polyphonous postmodernist mode, Fennelly tempers cognitive power and sensual wordplay with a subversive wit born of wry self-knowledge.
— FLOYD COLLINS, WESTBRANCH
Fennelly approaches language with playfulness and reverence, heady with possibilities, wary of dilution. She takes on personas such as Milton’s daughter or a survivor of the siege of Paris in dramatic narratives that one could forget are verse. Nearly half the book is a journal of the poetic mind in process, guarded by the internal critic, Mr. Daylater. For all that, Open House is surprisingly readable, ending with a handful of graceful love poems.
— TIM RAUSCHENBERGER, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
These poems can be elegiac, passionate, meditative, tender, angry, and funny by turns. Beth Ann Fennelly is clearly a poet to watch.
— THE NOTRE DAME REVIEW