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ISBN: 978-1-62557-949-2
Categories Poetry

Wine Dark

Publication Date: April 2016


“Wine Dark is an ethereal book where the idea of language, the theory of story becomes one with the knowledge of the self, a self burrowing, digging, trying to find a home, a place of residency under the grass in the great cemetery of words. Jenny Drai has found that out beyond all the words lies the body of language, and having come back, somehow is able to show us what it is to live, how it is we inhabit an alphabet.”

-Carl Adamshick, author of Curses and Wishes and Saint Friend

In Wine Dark, Drai launches the reader into a language of scents, tastes, and colors that is as seductive as it is ominous. A sense of danger, of unreality or the sudden slap of reality, lurks around every corner. Like Scheherezade, Drai is telling stories to save her life, narrating the world around her as an American in Germany in order to understand it. Just as Virgil leads Dante, Scheherezade serves as Drai’s guide in the psychological underworld of this collection, interrogating the nature of truth, the truth of storytelling, and the multiple truths of stories of the self. The pervasive presence of immigration and the dark liquids of wine, blood, and the sea contrasts with concrete references to tragedy, injustice, and the deaths of innocents from the Holocaust to Kosovo and Trayvon Martin. With the deft use of anaphora, internal and slant rhyme, and short lines that make effective use of elision, Drai is a powerful voice singing a subtle, sensitive music.”

-Wendy Chin-Tanner, author of Turn

About the Author

Jenny Drai

Jenny Drai is the author of three collections of poetry—[the door] (Trembling Pillow Press) and Wine Dark and The History Worker (both from Black Lawrence Press)—as well as the chapbooks The Old Sorrow Is Less Than the New Sorrow (Black Lawrence Press) and :Body Wolf: (Horse Less Press). An early novella, Letters to Quince, was awarded the Deerbird Novella Prize and published by Artistically Declined Press. More recently, her short stories, essays, and hybrid pieces have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Hayden’s Ferry Review, OmniVerse, and Tupelo Quarterly, among other journalsAnother story, “A Brief History of One Bath,” was awarded the Gail B. Crump Prize in Experimental Fiction and published in Pleiades Magazine. She is online at jennydrai.com and also publishes Allerleian occasional Substack rounding up her favorite books, movies/TV, podcasts, cookbooks, etc.

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