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100 WORD BOOK REVIEWS / Seducing the Asparagus Queen by Amorak Huey

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The best poems in Seducing the Asparagus Queen are focussed, almost incantatory. But Amorak Huey’s larger project here is about aging, about American history as an indistinct shadow behind our parents, and how we are to wrestle meaning from the disappointments of the average life. There is something almost pastoral about the book, and a lot of references to manual labor and beer-drinking. Well, every poet has certain shorthands they fall back on. Ultimately Huey gets it, and hands it to us in a straightforward, distinctly American language – “how beauty does not need us / though shame does.”

Jeanne Obbard