Live from the Homesick Jamboree is a brave, brash, funny, and tragic hue and cry on growing up female during the 1970s, when everything was always so awash that the speaker finds herself adrift among adults who act like children. The book moves from adolescence through a dry-eyed, poignant exploration of two marriages, motherhood, and the larger world, with the headlong perceptiveness and brio characteristic of Adrian Blevins's work. This poetry is plainspoken and streetwise, brutal and beautiful, provocative and self-incriminating, with much musicality and a corrosive bravura, brilliantly complicated by bursts of vernacular language and flashes of compassion. Whether listening to Emmylou Harris while thinking she should be memorizing Tolstoy, reflecting on her full-to-bursting motherliness, aging body, the tensions and lurchings of a relationship, or the cockamamie lovingness of it all, the language flies fast and furious. As the poet Tony Hoagland wrote of Blevins's previous book, The Brass Girl Brouhaha, this is the dirty, trash-talking, highly edified real thang.
ADRIAN BLEVINS won the 2004 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for The Brass Girl Brouhaha. She teaches at Colby College.