When Pattiann Rogers selected PYX for the 2004 National Poetry series, she praised the way Corinne Lee “skillfully interweaves wit, playfulness, and a joie de vivre with serious study and meditations.” PYX takes its title from the box containing the host, a wafer that is transformed into spirit upon consumption. And Lee’s poems effect similar transformations. Death, adultery, and a fractured marriage become occasions for redemption. Scenes from domestic life are juxtaposed with themes from art, philosophy, and literature. PYX moves effortlessly between high and low culture, between the mundane, sacred, and profane, exploring the possibilities of language with exhilarating vigor.
Corinne Lee’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have been published in dozens of literary magazines. Her debut collection, PYX, was selected by Pattiann Rogers as a winner of the National Poetry Series competition and was published by Penguin. Ms. Lee was chosen… More about Corinne Lee
“Reading PYX, I remembered the urgings of one of Merrill’s spirits from Changing Light at Sandhover, who entreats his audience to use, use, use their bodies and their minds. Corinne Lee has made a book that evidences new forms drawn from a life being lived at the far edge of what a mind and a body might hold. Her poems are as deeply celebratory as they are grief-struck, and her diction is luscious. crowded and spare, smart and bare as the line warrants. The result is a collection that approaches and surprises and deepens on absolutely contemporary terms, wonderfully able to face and sing what was, is, and might be. These are poems to be held and carried by.” —Kathleen Pierce
“One of the major strengths of the poetry in PYX by Corinne Lee is its original and engaging music. This music is consistent, finely crafted with intention and with perfect melding of subject and theme…As with any strong, self-confident music, the music ringing through PYX has the ability to entice its audience, to draw its audience into itself, and by so doing, offer new experiences of the subjects her poems address.” —Pattiann Rogers