Award-winning writer, teacher
and scholar

She Cihlar

She Who Loves Her Father is poetic archaeology, a careful search for ‘that thing // so unheard of, the source of the Nile / or the answer the sphinx longs for.’ Laura Madeline Wiseman’s poems find Eve (without Adam) making tea in a kitchen, Isis in the shape of a housecat, and sphinxes ‘nestled among the trees’ who ‘lope toward homes made of rock.’ Wiseman’s poems are cryptic in the etymological sense of crypts—they are odes to both containers and the things contained: family and daughter, stomach and food, womb and fetus. In the operation of these poems, sutures both bind and burst, bandages protect and consume. Screams turn into whispers and a dead language comes back to life in this book of riddles, where opposites swap places: ‘I want it to be yesterday. Then, I can mourn properly, twist it inside my mind to see how it was to me now. But I’ve got to get gone first.’

– James Cihlar