Lisa Russ Spaar is the author of many collections of poetry, most recently Orexia (Persea, 2017), and a collections of essays, The Hide-and-Seek Muse: Annotations of Contemporary Poetry. She is the editor of Monticello in Mind: Fifty Contemporary Poems on Jefferson; Acquainted with the Night: Insomnia Poems; and All that Mighty Heart: London Poems. She is a poetry columnist for Los Angeles Review of Books and Professor of English at the University of Virginia.
This career-spanning volume portrays in stunning fashion Lisa Russ Spaar's exquisite obsessions: spiritual hunger, lingual pleasures, bodily decay. The "ringleader of a stunning lexicon" (Shenandoah), Spaar's poems are both colloquial and sumptuous, hyper-attuned to contemporary idiom while rooted in language's primordial, earthy roots. Whether writing of the erotic or the divine, of anorexia or insomnia, of fairy tale or literary history, Spaar's writing is unmistakably her own, a trove of music and magic like nothing else in contemporary poetry. In Madrigalia, her oeuvre is on full display; it is a showcase of her indispensable poetic gifts, a tribute to a writer both acetic and ecstatic.