Diane Lockward is a poet who knows how to play. And in Eve’s Red Dress, a handsomely designed book from Wind Publications, she plays with language, with the ironies and delights of the human condition. Lockward knows how to celebrate through skill and sheer joy in the music of words and their multiple meanings, how to hint at injury or loss without getting lost herself, or losing the reader. The poetry is firmly grounded in the reality of the body, the physicality and vibrancy of the images. We know the who, the where, the when, and yet every poem takes us unexpectedly to a place we have never been before.
The Eve poems which open each of the five sections of Eve’s Red Dress are a clue to the many-layered character of the book. The thread of the Genesis story is woven through them, shifting color, yes, but always recognizable, always setting off and influencing the course of the narrative with wit and irony. And yet there is no doubt Eve is a real person, someone we might have known. "Eve Argues Against Perfection" leads off the book; this Eve may once have dwelt in the Garden of Eden, but she speaks in the voice of an ordinary American: "Beguiled, my ass. I said no such thing." She is sassy and argumentative and out to "tell it like it is"; she won’t be silenced.
Causes Diane Lockward Supports
The Frost Place
The Innocence Project