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“Sentences are the magic fabric of these marvelous odes and anti-odes. A prime Adrian Blevins sentence is both warpath and crossroad catapulting us from anxiety to ecstasy to lullaby on a bridge of ampersands. An Adrian Blevins sentence is a live wire, an electric lasso, a clairvoyant conveyer belt containing multitudes. Her poems curse, woo and storm “the sleazy codswallop of the muck” of Memory. Every enlivening line has the cadence of a brilliant, stupefied heart. Status Pending is terrific.”

  —Terrance Hayes

Status Pending by
Adrian Blevins

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Meet Adrian

Adrian Blevins is an American poet and a professor of English and Creative Writing at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where she directs the Creative Writing Program. She is the author of four full-length collections of poetry: Status Pending (Four Way Books, 2023), Appalachians Run Amok, Live from the Homesick Jamboree and The Brass Girl Brouhaha, as well as Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean, a co-edited collection of essays by new and emerging Appalachian writers. She is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Wilder Prize from Two Sylvias Press, a Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Foundation Award, among many others.

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Praise for Adrian's Work

What did Dickinson say? That she knew it was poetry if she felt as if the top of her head was taken off? If that’s the standard, then hell yes this is poetry, and this is poetry that has lopped off my whole head and jammed me back into where and who I’m from. Blevins has found the sweet spot, building narratives that riff, stories that sing in the voice of the most combustible, lowdown country song sung by a “punk rock of a country heart.” Her subjects are Appalachian girlhood, love, death, and motherhood, in which infants smell “like not-death—like the earliest of the early yield—like kale and collards, maybe.” She story-sings of places where the water is “fat with the pee foam of cattle,” where people “live up a sidewinder the sidewinding likes of which only the dead can drive,” where the speaker remembers herself as “a teenage fugitive in a teenage redneck’s redneck truck,” Frank O’Hara and Ferlinghetti in her purse, “not needlepoint,” “never Einstein.” Death, for Blevins, is blah, and “when I say blah I mean blah,” but this poetry, cascading forward via a zillion ampersands run amok and a hilarious, provocative grief, is blah’s badass antidote.

  —Diane Seuss


(Wilder Prize, Two Sylvias Press, 2018)

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