Unraveling at the Name

Jenny Factor

This startling debut weaves eros, motherhood, divorce, and a lesbian journey of self-discovery into a trancendent first book. Rich in sound and clever language play, these tautly crafted poems introduce a poet aware of the tradition into which she writes. In selecting Unravelling at the Name for the Hayden Carruth Award, Marilyn Hacker wrote: “Here is a new voice accomplished both in mind and music, a poet with perfect pitch in her mother tongue.”

ISBN: 9781556591761

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Jenny Factor is a feminist, a mother, and a dog-lover. Her first collection, Unraveling at the Name (Copper Canyon Press, 2002), was first supported by a grant from the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund and became a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Factor’s poems and reviews have appeared as part of Poetry in Motion and in more than a dozen anthologies, including The Best American Erotic Poems (Scribner, 2008). Jenny is a lecturer in poetry at the California Institute of …

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“Factor [has the] ability to make form sing with idiosyncrasy.” —Poetry

Unraveling at the Name contains poems of intelligence, intensity and irresistible language framed in delicious, deliberate poetic form.” —Lambda Book Report

“The poems in Jenny Factor’s first book are special since at every level they illuminate cultural constructs using poetical constructs.” —88: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry

“Here is a new voice accomplished both in mind and music… a poet with perfect pitch in her mother tongue.” —Marilyn Hacker

Unraveling at the Name is an amazing, extraordinary, gorgeous book. These are the best sonnets I’ve seen in ages. Tight and crafty and subtle and cruel and muscular and inventive and Real. The needs, the situations, the analyses of the situations, the rue, the regret, the loss, the gain, the heat, the scenes, the rose the thorns. The non-sonnets are pretty terrific too.” —Alicia Ostriker

“Jenny Factor’s often deceptively casual poems wear their prosodic mastery lightly, combining formal fluency and personal urgency, fulfilling a will to make form out of feeling.” —Reginald Shepard

“Layering her poems with charm, formal skill, and engaging humor, Jenny Factor’s first book carries the challenges of single motherhood memorably into poetry.” —Annie Finch

Unraveling at the Name is an impressive debut.” —Gay & Lesbian Review

Unraveling at the Name by Jenny Factor [reveals] an impressive formal skill and a wonderful ear for the lyric [that] combine with an emotional urgency to create fresh and deeply personal poems.” —Online Athens

“… a reader can’t help being awed by Factor’s proficiency with language and moved by the honest, engaging retellings which are these poems.” —Pif Magazine

Unraveling at the Name is erotic, humorous, tender and painful. Jenny Factor moves beyond mere confessionalism, allowing others to experience what she has experienced by using language that is direct and clear without being banal or boring. This is a promising first book.” —Contemporary Poetry Review