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Terry Ann Thaxton

Getaway Girl

Getaway Girl


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Terry Ann Thaxton sifts through the images of a childhood half-buried among the pines and saw palmetto of her native Florida and unearths a child orphaned by abuse. In a home where “Southern Baptists exchange judgments,” she hides among a tribe of siblings, roaming the woods and playing games that hold equal degrees of cruelty and love. At the first opportunity she flees – into the arms of more abuse, then, wildly, into years where “suitcases fell from the closet” and “she thinks of marching toward [the pond], / perhaps reaching a gray cloud, pulling the switch.” And yet, somehow, “the sky offers its philanthropy all day.” The genealogy of despair is also the genealogy of hope. In the search to clarify the past–and thus transform the present – these poems turn over the shards of memory like the colored glass in a kaleidoscope, looking for an angle that will light up the great mystery of how we become and continue becoming who we are.

Praise for this Book

‘In this collection, Terry Ann Thaxton holds the reader hostage, and sets her free at the same time, in poems that walk the line between pure tension and pure festival, terror and recreation, anxiety and beauty, and always with sure steps, perfect timing, uncanny musical intuition. In Getaway Girl we are introduced to a poet who brings the world to us in eerie clarity, giving mystery and the spirit their full due while staying firmly grounded in the gritty details of a life. "Let me demand//a vase as a sequel to myself." Terry Ann Thaxton has given us the vase, and the self, and a whole new way of looking at this world in her remarkable, unforgettable, poetry collection.’ —Laura Kasischke

‘In Getaway Girl Terry Ann Thaxton enters the haunted threshold territory between past and present. In these lyric narratives she explores how and why we stray so irresistibly to that place. Despite the harrowing circumstances of the poet's childhood and early adulthood, despite the absolute necessity for escape, there's a paradoxical longing to be found, to recover "the lost openings of my life," echoed beautifully in the empty carapace of a box turtle, fishcrows crying for shore, the unsent letter of a remembered voice . . . . Thaxton is a poet of nature, but first and foremost she is a poet of remarkable imagination. This is an authentic, marvelous first collection.’ —Nancy Eimers

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