THE BUNKER BOOK by Anne Babson
In this poetry collection inspired at once by medieval art and poetry of the French Resistance, America’s pandemic and political divisions meet underground. The books and other media of a bunker-stashed underground library warn us, make us laugh, and give us hope for better days. The Bunker Book shows the reader strong women, vernacular saints, and the fight against tyranny in every era. Set in New Orleans and other cosmopolitan destinations, this book presents a New American South breaking out of old shackles and the wisdom of old books informing a new vision of America surviving a difficult time.
Publication Date: 12/13/2022
Praise For Anne Babson
Some books read as if they were cities: the reader is walking its neighborhoods, experiencing the music and bustle of each street, each poem. Like New Orleans itself, Anne Babson’s The Bunker Book is a glorious hodge-podge of voices and influence. As if walking Bourbon Street, we hear German, Spanish, and French co-mingling as Psalms sidle into Elvis, Laura Ingalls, and Mrs. Havisham; as free verse follows villanelle, ghazal, and blank verse; as churches are built beside bar. And as it does, history’s shadow stretches into the contemporary. These are poems of witness, and more importantly in these troubled times, poems of hope. The Bunker Book presents “a city safe for women built on heroic/couplets,” and Anne Babson is quite the architect.
Gerry LaFemina, author of Baby Steps for Doomsday Prepping
Anne Babson’s poems are bunkered under the intersection of learning and lived knowledge, in depths where history and myth share roots and where blood and milk share a source. Bookish and puckish, formal and transformative, Babson’s poems range through time and space while always returning to (or do they ever leave?) the fever-dreamscape of her New Orleans. Along the way, she counters patriarchy’s fatal predations with a restorative feminism that calls us to action. Spend some time in this bunker and you’ll emerge, with Babson’s saints, ready to dance and to fight.
Brad Richard, author of Parasite Kingdom and Motion Studies
What do you do when the world closes in on all sides? If you’re Anne Babson, you sustain yourself in a fortress of books and let your mind wander where it may. Babson’s The Bunker Book is a delightful feast of linguistic wit and play. In these poems you will party with Gertrude Stein in PJs, go bar-hopping with the Vampire Lestat--and that’s on a slow night! Of all the writers who entered lockdown with optimistic plans for their work, only Anne Babson could emerge from her bunker with such a brainy, brash, gut-busting, brouhaha of a book. Do yourself a favor and dive in.
Alison Pelegrin, author of Our Lady of Bewilderment
Anne Babson's The Bunker Book knows no boundaries. Shifting through place and time, the poems commune with a variety of fictional and historical women, each living in their own metaphorical bunkers. From The Wife of Bath to Sylvia Plath to Heather Lewis, every encounter is dark, playful, hallucinatory, revelatory. Like Ilya Kaminsky's Deaf Republic, this book explicates a civilization. Poetry lovers should rush to these pages.
Maurice Carlos Ruffin