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In highly charged, dazzling language, 4:30 Movie explores a sister’s death and the ways movies shape our imaginations.
In poems that are by turns intimate and wild, provocative and tender, award-winning poet Donna Masini explores personal loss, global violence, and the consolations of art. She brings her wit, grief, fury, and propulsive energy to bear on the preoccupations of our daily lives and our attempts to bargain with endings of every kind. Equal parts lament and praise, 4:30 Movie is fueled by despair and humor, governed by the ways in which movies enter our imaginations and frame our experiences. The movie theater becomes a presiding metaphor: part waiting room, part childhood, part underground depths where the self is a bit player, riding the subway with “its engine of extras.” Masini's exquisite wordplay shows the mind wrestling ferociously to forestall grief, as if finding the right words might somehow allow us to extend our beautiful, foreshortened run.
About the Author
Donna Masini is the author of three collections of poetry and a novel. She was awarded the Barnard Women Poets Prize, a Pushcart Prize, a fellowship with the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches at Hunter College and lives in New York City.
Truly inspired…4:30 Movie is a stunning, playful, searing, healing collection that will enlarge the reader and revive something crucial in American poetry.
— Tracy K. Smith, US poet laureate
[These poems] are extraordinary—electric with anxiety, smart, witty, constantly turning on themselves…I love this book. — Marie Howe, author of Magdalene
4:30 Movie is a fiercely energetic collection, thematically and formally unified…The intensity of this book is something new, as the speaker confronts the terrifying and unstoppable progress of her sister’s illness, and watches her own grief, the gestures she makes to try to ward off fear and loss, and her own distractibility…Formally, Masini has reimagined the way her poems work, and the results are thrilling, and often startling.
— Mark Doty, author of Deep Lane
The poems in this new volume are not only Masini’s most formally adventurous and inventive, they are also her most compelling…4:30 Movie has the hallmarks of a capstone work.