Curating Home: A Kansas City Poetry Anthology (co-edited by Jose Faus, Marianne Kunkel, and Glenn North)

Curating Home

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Hillary, Made Up 

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Buy it from Stephen F. Austin State University Press via Amazon

“Marianne Kunkel’s poems, in this remarkable tour de force of formal play and deft political imagination, manage with startling consistency to create an intimacy with Hillary Clinton through what can be loosely called odes to the common but particular objects associated with her make-up and grooming by allowing us to encounter her with an eye for discovery. But there is a twist—the objects speak to the subject Hillary, and so what we have are these inventive persona poems that sparkle with candor and beauty. Thus, in the seeming distance that is implied by our engagement with the innocuous objects of her existence as imagined by Kunkel, we are thrust into a moving, witty, brilliantly conceived world of deep reflection on a critical moment in American history. These are funny, touching poems that introduce us to a poet of great skill and exacting insight.”Kwame Dawes

“The valiant and venturesome poems in Hillary, Made Up disclose truths about our political system and the treacherous way many treated our first female presidential candidate. By giving voice to the seemingly superficial cosmetics, Hillary, Made Up actually unveils the disguise that is at the heart of our political dilemma. Kunkel digs deep into what has not yet been said. Through her, the brow brush proclaims, ‘neglect’s in vogue’ while the makeup remover posits, ‘the biggest messes require the simplest clean-ups.’ These consequential poems reveal wisdom in the least expected of places. They challenge and buoy the reader in the finest of ways.” Charlotte Matthews

“In this timely series of poems, the woman who could have (some would argue should have) been the first woman president of the United States is, at turns, advised, cajoled, admonished, and consoled by an unlikely array of personified cosmetics, utensils, and so-called beauty products—all suggesting that, when it comes to gender and politics, a pretty veneer is likely to hide a lot of ugly—and complicated—truths. While grounded in the facts of the election and its aftermath, these ruefully ironic poems are ultimately not just about, or for, the titular Hillary, but for every woman who wants to be seen as more than just another pretty face.” Grace Bauer

The Laughing Game

THe Laughing Game

Buy it from Finishing Line Press:

“These are wonderful poems, strong, tight, intimate, made bright with hard-edged humor. They look at real people in real situations, moving patiently through their fragile lives, and Kunkel tells their stories one day, one living word, at a time.” Dorianne Laux

“A wheelchair abandoned in a parking lot. A doomed dog drinking from a gutter. Memories of an absent father. ‘Lately, I have been looking for myself in everything,’ writes Kunkel in this moving debut collection, her mind casting back to recollections of childhood, troubled parents, half-understood rites of passage, and moments of sadness, tenderness, or confusion. For Kunkel, memory provides much more than an opportunity for dramatic narrative or self-expression. It offers, instead, a crystallization of a timeless self in all its ambivalence, nuance, and complexity. This is a marvelous collection by a very skillful poet.” —Kevin Prufer

“The cheerful title of this collection belies its deeply serious intent–to illuminate the darker corners of childhood and their inevitable legacy in adult experience. Without a scintilla of sentimentality, Kunkel paints memorable portraits of the author as a young girl…Her formal dexterity is simultaneously powerful and unassuming, suggestive of the steel beneath the vulnerability so beautifully portrayed in this marvelous debut collection.” Sidney Wade

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize: Tenth Anniversary Reader (co-edited by James Engelhardt and Marianne Kunkel)

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Buy it from the University of Nebraska Press