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Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes
by Cheryl Dumesnil
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016
eISBN: 978-0-8229-8200-5 | Paper: 978-0-8229-6431-5
Library of Congress Classification PS3604.U49S56 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
The poems in Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes are survival songs, the tunes you whistle while walking through the Valley of Shadows, to keep your fears at bay and your spirit awake. The shadows here are many—cancer, poverty, a lost love, famine, suicide, war, an ever-encroaching existential angst. But so are the saving graces—a drag queen waitress whose “painted-on eyebrows arched like a bridge / toward starlight,” “strawberries / grown fat around dimpled gold seeds,” Pink Floyd’s “‘On the Turning Away’ sent through my car / radio like the ghost voice of a beloved long dead,” black phoebes rattling “winter / thistles, swollen throats percussing: / this is this is this is . . . ” Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes reminds us that where there is shadow there must, necessarily, also be light.

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