Discount Fireworks by Wendy T. Carlisle

Discount Fireworks by Wendy T. Carlisle

The poems in Discount Fireworks are grounded in the specific and personal, in order to show universal truth of emotion that goes beyond the speaker and the situation of the poem. In other words, they’re great poetry. 

What others are saying

“When a poet lets Freida Khalo breathe on her neck, you just know that what comes from her pen will be bold, steamy, smart, and explosive, like the fireworks in the title. These are Carlisle’s poems. They can be as angular as a poke in the ribs, subtle enough to make you look again, smart enough to demand your attention, hot enough to burn you, and tantalizing enough to leave you wanting more. And words: she makes them dance and sing.”

-Dr. Judith Chambers, author of Thomas Pynchon (Twain’s United States Author’s Series) and various articles

“With startling elegance and grit, the poems in Discount Fireworks skewer our follies and triumphs and the everydays in between. In a voice uniquely American, Carlisle reworks the mundane icons of our lives, from Dairy Queens to barbecue to Keds, with relentless imagery “a ferment of skirts,” “a life as real as paint” underscored by Gospel, rock and roll, and the blues. Passionate, controlled, and tinged with awe, these are poems you’ll want to take home in the palm of your hand.”

-Jo McDougall, author of five books of poetry, most recently Satisfied With Havoc. Recipient of DeWitt Wallace/Reader’s Digest Award and Arkansas’s Porter Fund Literary Prize

“Wendy Taylor Carlisle is a reader’s dream. Her music is funny, sexy, surprising, taking the sorrow out of the everyday world. Her poems illuminate the words in our language. They dish out a wide range of emotions which become nearer and dearer each page. Sensual and literate, Discount Fireworks will turn poetry into a brisk tirade.”

-Grace Cavalieri, radio host for “The Poet and the Poem” from the Library of Congress

Wendy Taylor Carlisle’s poems come out wearing their red shoes and ready to dance. The lives she sketches flame underfoot so the soles of your feet are “burned like little suns,” and when we read this book of grace and empathy “we are assured there will be sparks, then/blasts and blowups, offerings of flame and dust/ and riots of colored stars dropped across/ summer and winter skies, a heavenly display/ to bring us joy beyond the ordinary.”

-Tony Barnstone, author of three books of poetry and one chapbook. Poet, translator and editor of The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry

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