The Messenger by Stephanie Pippin
(Iowa Poetry Prize)

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In thrilling poems of metamorphosis and birth, death and dissolution, Stephanie Pippin’s debut collection returns us to a world unshorn of wildness. Delivering accident and hunger, love and grief, nature in these poems is beautiful and brutal, “a hellish magnificence” that both invites and denies the meanings we project onto it. Refusing the domesticated comfort of our usual myths, Pippin reminds us of our place as creatures among others in a world where “what isn’t dead / is dying,” and where the thrill of predatory flight commingles with the desperation of the prey.

This mesmerizing and astonishingly assured collection offers a message as harrowing as it is essential. Faced with the hard master of necessity—“angel stinking of his own / excitement”—and bare before what Mallarmé called “the horror of the forest,” we are helpless, finally, to do anything to save what we love. Our sole task, these poems insist, is to look on while we can, and to love harder. 

About Stephanie Pippin

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Stephanie Pippin lives in St. Louis. Her poems have appeared in the Boston Review, the Iowa Review, and Ploughshares. 
Published April 1, 2013 by University Of Iowa Press. 70 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Messenger

"After we clear/ the doe of her heart/ and lungs," says Pippin, "…I find her hollow/ shape is the form I want/ to sink into/ p

Apr 15 2013 | Read Full Review of The Messenger (Iowa Poetry Pr...

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