Stephanie Bryant Anderson (Poetry) | Clarksville, TN
Press & Reviews
Stephanie Bryant Anderson’s Monozygotic | Codependent is magically populated with fawn and doe, mirror-girls, and filled to the brim with feathers. Throughout the book objects and ideas change—locks of hair, locks of doors, dead birds, cartographers, and clouds of vulture wings all become something else. The poet has power here, whether she realizes it or not, and this is the ultimate assertion of the book. Bryant Anderson states, “I’ve dreamt a horse into the field, or the horse/ in my dream came to save me—no hollow /knight—but the horse, and I climbed onto his back/ to keep from suffocating.” The poet, the twin birthed from a single egg, dreams the world into being, splitting and recreating and challenging the reader’s experience of reality. It’s a beautiful journey.
—Andrea Spofford, author of The Pine Effect
In Monozygotic | Codependent, Stephanie Bryant Anderson’s poems are concerned with splitting the self and uncovering the woman beneath the familial myths. Yet the essential paradox for Bryant Anderson: when the self has a twin—a ‘shadow,’ a ‘dark-haired mirror girl’—what then of the split? These poems ache; in the style of Southern gothic, these poems are ‘filled [with] piano ribs, a slow blues loaded with heavy bees and suicide ghosts.’ Bryant Anderson’s are poems of survival, built in fragile and beautiful shell casings, stanzas deceptively elegant and delicate, for what pinions each graceful couplet is a fierceness of spirit, a deep-seated desire for life, always life, even in the midst of pain and memory, ‘shaped as an open field plagued by black irises.’ I am broken and remade by these poems.
—Jennifer Givhan, 2015 Winner National Endowment for the Arts fellowship
In Stephanie Bryant Anderson’s first collection, the poems are claustrophobic, obsessive. Anxious and desolate, the young narrator is overpowered by grief ‘dark as vulture wings’.
—Jill Khoury, Editor at Rogue Agent Journal
In “Anxiety While Crossing the Tennessee-Arkansas Bridge” we encounter one of the major themes of the book: twin-ness. What it means to be a twin, to have been born into that level of codependence and to have to survive that conjunction into the individuality of adulthood. The result is a heart that must be “cropped, carried,” that has to learn to beat again on its own.