The Thin Wall
“In books that are as demanding as they are beautiful, Martha Rhodes has been mapping the psychic terrain of family life and romantic life in contemporary America. The way we are betrayed by others, the way we betray ourselves, the way love is both harbor and harm, the way memory is both a form of elation and of wounding—Rhodes looks at our instances of extremity and somehow turns them into bittersweet lyric utterance. Spare and unsparing, The Thin Wall is Rhodes doing her most powerful work so far.”
In The Beds, award-winning poet Martha Rhodes skillfully navigates a tonally complex terrain. Rhodes’ fourth collection mixes form and free-verse, specifically using the rondelet’s tight, obsessive repetition as a means to harness and modulate frenetic content.
Winner of the Green Rose Prize (2000)
In Perfect Disappearance, the much anticipated follow-up to Martha Rhodes’ startling first book, we shift gears: the damaged child/woman has grown into a full-fledged adult who continues to speak for this singular “unkillable” life. Rhodes now enters new realms of the darkly erotic conjoined with the liberated sensibility of a survivor. Cagey, evasive, subservient, unappeasable, Rhodes animates her speakers with a voice full of grit and urgency, and the results are electrifying.
At The Gate
Poetry. “A collection whose distinction rests in structure: Rhodes cleaves to no fixed perspective-this is a single speaker, eccentric, various, rather than a spokesperson. This fluidity persuades because it mimics the dilemma, imitates and preserves the child’s helplessly reactive mind as it survives into, and is masked by, adulthood. These short poems, by turns savage, wry , mordantly witty, tender, stern, deluded, sane, read like a series of fragments, bits of mosaic; they duplicate on the page the sense of a past’s being, piece by piece, recovered; they convey, devastatingly, the moment of a pattern’s emerging: the little scenes and vignettes, the suspect tools of memory, cohere heart-stoppingly and absolutely into a narrative which fuses the damaged body to the divided heart.”