This item is only available through the the University of Utah Press secure online store. Please note, this online store is unrelated to the shopping cart on our site. If you wish to make a purchase from this store, items must be paid for separately and will ship separately from items in your shopping cart.
In the Human Zoo
Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize
In the Human Zoo reveals encounters with a world that is both fragile and dangerous, a perilous, surreal place where not only humans but also creatures as innocuous as fireflies and owls become potential threats. Throughout the collection, speakers wrestle with human violence through a multitude of perspectives: the fear and resistance of victims, the frustration and outrage of witnesses, the regret and recognition of a global history in which so many people have participated as perpetrators. While the people who inhabit the world of this collection might yet remain caged, they nevertheless struggle to unleash themselves and each other through language.
Jennifer Perrine is an assistant professor of English at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she teaches creative writing and gender studies.
Visit the Author's Website
From In the Human Zoo:
We were just two women in a car, and at each stop sign,
you’d preen in the rearview mirror, conducting your orange
anime hair, touching up your violent rouge. Everything
about me was tight and brown: I obeyed the stringent laws
of soap and salon. Between intersections, you began
to fold my love poem into an airplane, its terraced
wings crisp, as you steered with your knees. This, our common era,
when I accepted such guts as gifts, when I would let you
reach for me and pull out what you needed. At the last turn
before you took me home, you flicked your light flying machine
out the window, said, let’s see how far this baby will go.
Praise and Reviews:
"Jennifer Perrine’s poems, saturated in taut emotion and even in overt violence, are yet cooled, disciplined, by rigorous rendering, carefully evoked locations and descriptions. Jennifer Perrine is a deeply committed poet, intelligent, intense and perceptive of the minutiae of inner and outer human trauma."
—Anne Winters, Professor Emerita of Poetry, University of Illinois at Chicago
"...an unflinching, haunting and beautiful observation of life's perils and pain. Often drawing on imagery from the natural and even the mythological world, Perrine's vivid and taut verses convey the longing to be free from physical dangers and emotional cages."
Winner of the 2010 Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry