Unbeliever by Lisa Lewis
(Brittingham Prize in Poetry)

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Lisa Lewis's first collection of poems meditates on people in trouble searching for a way out, people whose faith has been tested and found wanting. The child who believes in God only on Christmas Eve, the teenage girl exploring her sexuality and finding herself forever under male control, the young woman struggling in a violent relationship, a driver locked in the secure world of her car deliberately swerving close to a traffic cop or using her commuting time to dream of leaving her marriage, the men who frequent massage parlors and therapists or threaten to rape the moon— all have in common secret skepticism and isolation.

These poems address with compassion and intensity the wariness of women and men together, the distance between them as they attempt to bridge their destructive failures. In long lines loaded with the eccentric details of human life, the vision of The Unbeliever is dark, funny, and not without hope as it follows the characters through connections sought and set at odds by difference and circumstance.

About Lisa Lewis

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Lisa Lewis earned her Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from New York University, where she studied genetic variation. Her son's autism diagnosis and her family's successful adoption of the gluten-free casein-free diet led to her award-winning Special Diets for Special Kids series. Lisa continues to be a pioneer in the field of dietary intervention.
Published October 15, 1994 by University of Wisconsin Press. 72 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Echoes of his words resound: ``I hate myself/ For ever believing I rocked my own cradle into being/ For the anger and strength and persistence/ I suffer myself to bear into the world.'' Yet though Lewis's first book may place her among Whitman's daughters, the hard-edged voice is all her own, and...

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