Linda Lee Harper
Linda Lee Harper divides her time between Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia. Born in Cincinnati and educated at the University of Pittsburgh, where she received her M.F.A. in Poetry, she is the author of five poetry chapbooks and one previous full-length collection, Toward Desire (Word Works, 1996), winner of the 1995 Washington Prize for Poetry. Her poems have previously appeared in such journals as The Georgia Review, Rattle, Seneca Review, and Southern Humanities Review, and have been recognized with fellowship residences at Yaddo and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
“Reading Kiss, Kiss is like waking up in a strange bed with a new tattoo. These poems ride close to the skin, and generate their own heat. Linda Lee Harper takes us from the haunting familiarity of ‘Summer, humid as an old aunt’s apartment when she boils the fat out of ham,’ to the electric pleasure of ‘the beautiful boys on the avenue, / parading, winking hips at my hips.’ It’s as if Harper has reclaimed all of the memories we’ve hidden beneath our mattresses, and repopulated them in a world that is at once alien and intimate. These are poems that demand a visceral response. Thankfully for the reader, they will not wash off.” –Mary Biddinger
“To read Linda Lee Harper’s Kiss, Kiss is to escape into another striking and memorable world, while never feeling as if you’ve completely left the familiar behind. Her poems are filled with the imagery of ordinary life, and yet these images are often slightly off-kilter and unexpected, so what emerges in these poems is honest, and sometimes uncomfortable. Harper’s poems remind us of our common desire to build connections among ourselves, to honor the singularity of the places we come from and the quirks of the people we love.” –Margot Schilpp