Blooming Fiascoes: Poems
Ellen Hagan Northwestern University Press, 2021 Library of Congress PS3608.A338B55 2021 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Blooming Fiascoes is a collective of verse that deconstructs identity. We are beautiful and monstrous. We live in a beautiful and monstrous world. Ellen Hagan poetically mirrors these metaphoric adversaries, drawing on her experiences as a woman, an artist, a mother, a transplanted southerner, and above all, a human being. She plumbs origins in history, body, and living to question how we reckon our whole selves in the catacombs of a world gone mad:
We mourn, we bless, / we blow, we wail, we / wind—down, we sip, / we spin, we blind, we / bend, bow & hem. We / hip, we blend, we bind, / we shake, we shine, / shine. We lips & we / teeth, we praise & protest.
In these poems, Assyrian, Italian, and Irish lines seep deeper into a body that is growing older but remains engaged with unruly encounters: the experience of raising daughters, sexual freedom, and squaring body image against the body’s prohibitions. This is a work where the legacy is still evolving and always asking questions in real time. Blooming Fiascos spindles poetry that is not afraid to see itself and the lives it inhabits.
Ellen Hagan Northwestern University Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3608.A338H46 2015 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Winner, 2015 Seven Sisters Book Award for Poetry
The poems in Hemisphere explore what it means to be a daughter and what it means to bear new life. Ellen Hagan investigates the world historical hemispheres of a family legacy from around the globe and moves down to the most intimate hemisphere of impending motherhood. Her poems reclaim the female body from the violence, both literal and literary, done to it over the years. Hagan acknowledges the changing body of a mother from the strains of birth—from the growing body of a child, to the scars left most visibly by a C-section—as well as the changes wrought by age and, too often, abuse. The existence of a hemisphere implies a part seeking a whole, and as a collection, Hemisphere is a coherent and cogent journey toward reclamation and wholeness.