Full-length book: The Reformation (October 2014)
Chapbook: Spring Melt (2009)
Winner of the 2014 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize, chosen by Stephen Dunn. Published October 2014.
Katherine Bode-Lang’s fierce and lyrical poems undertake the reformation of family mythology, place, and loves that each life requires to become its own.
Advance Praise for The Reformation
Stephen Dunn, author of 17 collections, including Different Hours, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize: “One of the classic tricks of actors is when you want to get the attention of your audience, you lower, not raise, your voice. Katherine Bode-Lang’s work is not a trick—her lowered voice kept attracting me.
Robin Becker, author of Tiger Heron and All-American Girl: “Raised under the hand of Calvin,” the speaker in these poems achieves her own form of grace, writing directly of the female body and learning to trust her own instincts. She wrestles with self-definition— “I am my mother’s straight chair” and “I am my father’s favorite hymn”— to reveal potent family legacies. “Wanting everything to survive,” the narrator learns “what to sacrifice,” revealing, for readers, one woman’s path through contradiction and tradition.
Julia Spicher Kasdorf, author of Poetry in America and Sleeping Preacher: Katherine Bode-Lang writes with the rational mind of Calvin, the passionate heart of Luther, and the bravery of her own body. Driven by difficulty and dissent, haunted by “all the small/openings for death,” her lines turn gorgeous and furious, intelligent and belligerent, witty and wise. This poet abhors a lie, and by insisting on the truth of her own experience, she finds ways to reform the old stories of family, faith, sex, and most of all, love. I cannot remember reading a first book as painfully honest and beautiful as this.
Jack Ridl, author of Practicing to Walk Like a Heron and Losing Season: In the arresting opening poem of Katherine Bode-Lang’s artistically accomplished The Reformation she says gently, “Why the sudden storm of dying?” Her hushed lament unobtrusively lingers throughout this bravely nuanced collection. Bode-Lang takes her terrible question, and with the musicality of language as evocative as the hovering sounds of a cello, offers us the strange and uncommon comfort that arrives when we are at last understood.
Keystone Chapbook Series, Number 4.
Runner-up for the 2008 Keystone Chapbook Prize; selected by G. C. Waldrep:
“These are poems of deep quiet, meditations on identity and personhood that proclaim the physical world is all we have while simultaneously insisting there is, must be, something more, a dimension of human contact and fealty that transcends the daily tragedy and furniture of our lives. ‘Countries have fallen, and they have flowers / on their heads, a camera looped around / my father’s arm,’ Katherine Bode-Lang writes in ‘My Parents Getting Off the Plane in Guam, 1972.’ ‘This picture—the only love story I know.’”
Published: May 15, 2009 [125 copies] , Second printing: November, 2009 [100 copies]
Available for purchase from Seven Kitchens Press.