Teresa Leo is the author of two books of poetry, Bloom in Reverse (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014) and The Halo Rule (Elixir Press, 2008), winner of the Elixir Press Editors' Prize.
|Bloom in Reverse, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014
Bloom in Reverse chronicles the aftermath of a friend's suicide and the end of a turbulent relationship, working through devastation and loss while on a search for solace that spans from local bars to online dating and beyond to ultimately find true connection and sustaining love. Things move backwards, from death to life, like a reverse time-lapse video of a dead flower morphing from brittle, scorched entity to floral glory to nacsent bud. The poems seek to find those places where the natural world connects to and informs experiences at the core of human relationships, and at times call upon principles and theories from physics and mathematics to describe the complexities of love and loss. It's a book where grief, melancholy, heartbreak, and disillusionment intersect with urban romanticism, hope, possibility, and love. Bloom is all of it, the terrible and the beautiful.
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|The Halo Rule, Elixir Press, 2008, winner of the Elixir Press Editors' Prize
"With robust language and sharp wit, Teresa Leo takes up the struggle to make something durable of human desire. The 'grievous infractions' of her title poem result from the refusal to respect rules of engagement: in sport, in love. Depictions of intimacy’s trusts and betrayals – 'We’re flatlined, sandblasted,/ pummeled, untoward' – deracinate romance; a series of poems that includes 'Narcissists Anonymous' showcases Leo’s nimble welding of classical myth and popular culture. Read The Halo Rule for its original metaphors and frank evocations of women and men in extremis, grappling with appetite, connection, and disconnection."
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