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A Sunny Place with Adequate Water (2014): We Can Hitch a Ride to Rockaway Beach

Mary Biddinger, A Sunny Place with Adequate Water (Black Lawrence Press, 2014)

The full moon shines over a typical suburban house on the cover of the book.

kimi to no mirai wo sagashiteta
kono hikari no naka ni…
photo credit:

I’m not entirely sure what more I can say about Mary Biddinger that I haven’t said in my reviews of her previous two full-length books, Prairie Fever and O Holy Insurgency, and her chapbook Saint Monica. This is a good thing, in part, because it should telegraph to you as clearly (and with much less verbiage) that her new book, A Sunny Place with Adequate Water, lives up to the nearly impossible standard she set for herself with that earlier work.

“They said it was a record
year for being small. Tiny
was the new grey, the new
nudity, only without all that
airbrushing. My man thought
there should be a Y in August.”
(–from “Miniatures”, 20)

The leaps are not always logical on the surface, which is part of what makes this collection so much fun; another part is when they are logical, but not something one would normally think of. (No airbrushing to be found here.) A feeling of frequent, pleasurable surprise; is that not one of the joys of poetry in general? After a dip into a sunny place’s adequate water, you may well believe it should be. **** ½

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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