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Apocalyptic Swing

Apocalyptic Swing Gabrielle Calvocoressi

A Los Angeles Times Book Award Finalist

“You don’t like to see a man get knocked out / cold?” Calvocoressi writes. “Then you’ve never lived in Hartford / or any town of boarded windows.” But brutalized as they are by a variety of traumas and intolerances, the speakers of these poems possess an almost devotional capacity for resilience that lifts them above their punishing circumstances. “All you gotta do is get up / one more time than the other guy thinks you can,” says the eponymous narrator of “Blues for Ruby Goldstein,” one of the book’s astonishing poems on boxing. Cornered in the ring or bottomed-out factory towns, in 1960s Birmingham or contemporary Los Angeles, Calvocoressi’s populace does more than just get up. Shaking off body blows and the deepest sorts of alienation, it counters with a harmony of hymn and jazz, of local and national, of diversity and communion. Apocalyptic Swing expresses some of America’s most crucial overlooked histories and, in doing so—against all odds—it gives us a poetry of perseverance and optimism.

Praise for the Book

"Calvocoressi is a daring act as a poet/athlete. . .but she can also travel the backwoods, pointing out herons, ivy vines and creek water with a kind of divining rod rightness—till she slips up and becomes 'blood' on a clean blade. Her wild lyrics shudder and shine, jubilant and threatening, exuberant."—Carol Muske-Dukes, The Huffington Post

"Muscular and musical, this second collection from Calvocoressi combines boxing, Elvis, church burnings, sex and horses to produce a book that is pure Americana. . . . This is a compelling sophomore effort from a very promising poet."—Publishers Weekly

"Calvocoressi's Apocalyptic Swing plays a fugue of athleticism and sexuality while chronicling some of the most striking--and, in some cases, surprisingly forgotten--moments in our recent history. Whether set in small towns or boxing rings, in the Deep South or the City of Angels, these poems teach us that our bodies, even 'against the ropes,' can endure the world in which they live. Infused with the rhythms of the punching bag and the body, Apocalyptic Swing reads like a necessary gospel."—A. Van Jordan

About the Author:
Gabrielle Calvocoressi has won the Bernard F. Connors Prize from the Paris Review, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, and the 2006 Connecticut Book Award for her first poetry collection, The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart. Her poems have been published widely in journals and magazines, among them New England Review, Ninth Letter, and Quarterly West. Calvocoressi teaches in the graduate writing programs of California College of the Arts and Warren Wilson College. She lives in Los Angeles. 

Also Available from Persea by the Author
The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart

Trade paperback/$15.00 (Can. $16.00)/ISBN: 978-0-89255-412-6/96 pages/Poetry

Persea Books