Winner of the National Poetry Series

The Anatomy Theater

"Nadine Meyer is that rarest of things these days, a poet of ideas. Rarer still, she's a poet who manages to present her ideas through the manifold pleasures of a highly refinded lyrical imagination. Which is to say, her poetry demands to be taken seriously in the only way that poetry can: She makes a reader feel what it feels like to think the way she thinks. With The Anatomy Theater, Ms. Meyer takes her place in that long and illustrious line of poets whose spiritual or intellectual concerns form the core of their aesthetic program. It is a wonderfully accomplisehd first book of poems."

-- Sherod Santos

"Nadine Sabra Meyer's Anatomy Theater is a powerful and hoarrowing book. In it the human figure is reduced to its primary elements--musculature, organs, bone--yet remains palable and present. The transcendent is completely exorcised, 'as thoughts decompose under anesthesia / then cease to exist.' This is a poetry without a trace of sentimentality or sepcious celebreation, yet it remains grimly affirmative as it 'distills / from the stench of flesh, pure thought.' The language is riveting, and the lines have a sinuous complexity that is hypnotic. Meyer's unit of compostion is the sentence, that is to say the thought, and she writes at a high level of tension. As the book unfolds the focus expands from the biological to the aesthetic, the personal and the historical, groping towards the possibility of escaping 'the body's domesticity for a sky both lightning struck and mute,' and of the transformation of anatomy into history. The Anatomy Theater is a stunning debut."

-- John Koethe