She Who Loves Her Father

Dancing Girl Press, 2012

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Finalist for the 2010 Apprentice House Chapbook Competition

To read Wiseman’s collection is to live inside an echo, a series of glances that won’t let you go. Wiseman evokes a landscape of attentive and intimate arrivals. These revealing poems ask us to consider why we drift and how we recognize the anchor in each other.

– Julia Cohen

At the heart of Laura Madeline Wiseman’s She Who Loves Her Father is the desire for human connection in all its forms—mental, emotional, sexual, physical. Nowhere is this longing more evident than in the poignant “An Email from the Living,” in which a parent writes to a child: “you didn’t respond so/ I must have the wrong address.” It is this need, often unmet, that drives the narrators of Wiseman’s poems in this winding, often wistful collection.

– Leah Browning

She Who Loves Her Father is poetic archaeology, a careful search for ‘that thing // so unheard of, the source of the Nile / or the answer the sphinx longs for.’ Laura Madeline Wiseman’s poems find Eve (without Adam) making tea in a kitchen, Isis in the shape of a housecat, and sphinxes ‘nestled among the trees’ who ‘lope toward homes made of rock.’ Wiseman’s poems are cryptic in the etymological sense of crypts—they are odes to both containers and the things contained: family and daughter, stomach and food, womb and fetus. In the operation of these poems, sutures both bind and burst, bandages protect and consume. Screams turn into whispers and a dead language comes back to life in this book of riddles, where opposites swap places: ‘I want it to be yesterday. Then, I can mourn properly, twist it inside my mind to see how it was to me now. But I’ve got to get gone first.’

– James Cihlar