Butch Geography

by Stacey Waite

$16.95

“Although gender is never simple in Waite’s book, this inclination to let it speak, in all of its various incarnations, gives the book a great strength and relevance. Clear language makes the poems accessible (a word I use in the most positive sense), and a fluid motion between past and present, between masculine and feminine, makes them complex. All told, Waite has put together a valuable, fascinating, and beautiful first book.”
 Emily May Anderson, NewPages

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In her Los Angeles Review of Books essay “Who Is Who: Pronouns, Gender, and Merging Selves,” Dana Levin describes Stacey Waite’s fusion of gender identities: “Pseudonyms, heteronyms, personae, all the ventriloquizing literary arts; point of view and tonal shifts: these are tools for speakers and speaking. But the sentence too has a voice: ‘i will not be the kind of boy who can not bear the memory of her body’ … This is [Waite’s] genius … to take innocuous syntactical phrasing and change the players mid-sentence — to get around English’s pronominal either/or by creating a syntactical both/and…”

“In this arresting collection, Stacey Waite is a pathfinder, charting with disarming honesty, humor, pathos and willful perplexity the uncertain terrain of gender in ways that shatter assumptions, unsettle easy presumptions, and yet, through the sheer grace of her craft and deft language, that open us to the beauty of our strange human enterprise.”

Kwame Dawes 

from Boys in Trees

In summer, she pushes hard on the lemons
until they bleed clear. Sometimes,
from up in the red oak beside the house,
we hear her crying. We are boys in trees.

up in the tree for her to call us. We wait
until the lemon rind has been tossed out
in the side yard. We drink it then, when
there is nothing left of what our mother
has never, not even once, wanted.

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stacey waiteStacey Waite is the author of three collections of poems: Choke (winner of the 2004 Frank O’Hara Prize), Love Poem to Androgyny (Main Street Rag, 2007), and the lake has no saint (winner of Tupelo’s 2008 Snowbound Chapbook Award). With both an M.F.A. in poetry and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pittsburgh, Waite now teaches courses in writing, gender studies, and pedagogy as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln.

“Although gender is never simple in Waite’s book, this inclination to let it speak, in all of its various incarnations, gives the book a great strength and relevance. Clear language makes the poems accessible (a word I use in the most positive sense), and a fluid motion between past and present, between masculine and feminine, makes them complex. All told, Waite has put together a valuable, fascinating, and beautiful first book.”
Emily May AndersonNewPages

“The people populating these poems are intensely human. Through a voice that is at once humorous, poignant, and tragic, we are offered an enriched way to see each other.”
Caitlin MackenzieThe The Poetry Blog

“While the subject matter in Butch Geography isn’t run-of-the-mill, Waite — a former student and instructor at Pitt who now teaches at the University of Nebraska — uses a steady and contemplative voice, even when the speaker doesn’t have all the answers to the questions being asked. And it’s Waite’s use of speaker as changeling, searching for identity, that makes this work so compelling.”
Fred ShawPittsburgh City Paper

“The sort of troublemakers I value as a person and as a reader are the sort that don’t want to dissent for the enjoyment of rebellion, but who are genuinely concerned with social change. Stacey Waite is that sort of writer and troublemaker.”
Jordan FarmerPrairie Schooner