The Flight Cage: Poems by Rebecca Dunham


Using the metaphor of a aviary or “flight cage,” where birds are held captive, Rebecca Dunham’s thrilling new book explores the struggles and torments faced by women as wives, mothers, and daughters -seeking communion with writers from the past, including feminist pioneer Mary Wollstonecraft. A virtuoso of phrase and image, Rebecca Dunham displays a daring range of prosody. Drawing upon an innovative travel narrative by Wollstonecraft, Dunham opens the traditional crown of sonnets to the sudden breakage of collaged text, in the process remaking both the received form and the now-conventional contemporary experimental poem. Critical praise includes: “These poems, brilliant on their surfaces, dark and grave in their depths, will startle the reader with their radiance, and haunt – ghost-ridden as they are – with their otherworldly gravity.” – Eric Pankey. “Dunham’s poems . . . and their complex tapestry-like ways of making – interweaving the formal and organic, the mimetic and improvisational – make this an enormously compelling reading experience.” – Sherod Santos. “Over and over, this book returns to the body. While acknowledging that ‘the body’s surest form is loss, ‘ the poems in The Flight Cage celebrate the place of the body in the world. As Dunham insists, ‘This is not lament, but refrain. / Knock on it and it will sing.’ These poems sing and dazzle.” – Nicole Cooley.