Poetry, chapbook, 21 pages, illustrated, from Stranded Oak Press.
"'Here is the pointe shoe I kill a hornet with,' the speaker of Cipri’s stunning incantatory poem 'Here' declares. It’s an unflinching admission of doing harm and an unforgettable image. Then, eight lines later: 'Here is the fifth girl I fell in love with.' Just as concise and assertive, and yet an admission, this time, of vulnerability. Cipri’s Leaving the Burdened Ground is full of these beautiful swerves and illuminating contradictions. These poems show us how childhood and adolescence can be every bit as complicated as adulthood, how the past can sometimes be a reincarnation of the future. Here is a poet who befriends a dragonfly by singing, 'Dragonfly Girl, let’s swap books, shop for new wings, and march together.'"
-Chen Chen, author of WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE A LIST OF FURTHER POSSIBILITIES
“The opening four words are 'I can’t be trusted.' I do trust this speaker. I believe in her methods of understanding and recounting memories, whether by placing an ear to warm crabgrass or to a conch shell or by developing photographs or by 'redrafting the world' in poems. I see this speaker in her marked body: her severe ponytail and missing molars. I listen to her prayers to the ballet pointe shoes: no breasts, no period. I see her shopping in the Gap men’s department. I imagine her drag king show. Cipri has created an honesty that permeates the page. Her truth is written and the world is splitting open."
-Jennifer Jackson Berry, author of THE FEEDER
"Cipri conjures worlds that remove us from the unbearable present. Hers is a complex vision where we can leave the day’s weight for something better: the body of a woman, the body in dance, the bulimic body, the shifting unconscious. With a knife-sharp voice, she braves the heart of resistance: 'all I ever wanted was my blue back (sky river night).' A fierce and loving book."
-Jan Beatty, author of JACKKNIFE: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS
Formerly an editor for Salt Hill, Ava C. Cipri is a poetry editor for The Deaf Poets Society: An Online Journal of Disability Literature & Art. She teaches writing at Duquesne University and is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee. Ava’s poetry appears or is forthcoming in Cimarron, decomP, Rust + Moth, Stirring’s Manticore: Hybrid Writing from Hybrid Identities anthology, and PROSODY: NPR-affliate WESA’s weekly show featuring the work of national writers. Her first chapbook, Queen of Swords, was published by dancing girl press (2018).