About the Book
In a post pandemic world, how do we rebuild what is broken? Pool Parties dives into dinosaurs, pop culture, hospital beds, barnacles, geology, and the soil of the midwest to dig through and sift our aching to heal psyche. Found poems about crystals, Sabrina the teenage witch, and building trails are just some of the topics of these playful yet sometimes dark poems. Once shielding ourselves from the world in tiny boxes, we now long to break the glass, feel the sun, and one another, but it is scary. Try to connect we must, if we fail, we must fail better. What rooms are our safe spaces? What woods? From Ranch for Sale, As is: “In the god trees you disappeared into Port wine and too many off ramp brown eye role playing games. My heart in a 1960s ranch style basement. Thought you’d come in, shake out the red and white checkered tablecloth, pull aside the daisy patterned curtains.” MacBain-Stephens invites us to dive into the deep end of the pool where it is always too cold at first. We don’t trust our own pleas for help and need a third operator to repeat our words back to us: “the operator whispers / plays the soundtrack to the The Third Man / listens in, but this isn’t Orson Welles in black and white beauty…” (from The Telephone Operator Knows When to Plug in.) Pool Parties is a delicious awkward visit to that place you left too quickly, just when it was getting interesting.
About the Author
Jennifer MacBain-Stephens (she/her) went to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and now lives in Iowa where she is landlocked. Her fifth, full length poetry collection, “Pool Parties” is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2023. She is the author of fifteen chapbooks. Some of her work appears in The Pinch, South Broadway Ghost Society, Cleaver, Dream Pop, Slant, Yalobusha Review, and Grist. She is a member of the Iowa City Poetry Council and the director of the monthly reading series Today You are Perfect, sponsored by the non-profit Iowa City Poetry. Find her online at http://jennifermacbainstephens.com/.