A Penny Saved (Paperback)
Poetry. African American Studies. LGBT Studies. Based on a true story. In her second full-length collection, A PENNY SAVED, Arisa White's elegantly harrowing poems investigate the idea of the captive within spousal abuse. Often utilizing the voice of the good wife Penny, these poems bring to the fore the effects of mental abuse in juxtaposition to a patriarchal world that tries to swallow the voice of Penny. White's poems drift from stream of consciousness to afterthought to dialogue in a way that exhibits her flexible and intimate relationship with language. With this dexterity, Penny's voice is realized.
If you want dramatic prosody you got it. A PENNY SAVED is washed in fights, in the gathering of conflicts that become eloquence, tension, attitude and the representative of all of our wounds in the manner of Greek mythology. Arisa White knows the difference between Poetry and Knowledge and proves it (in the exact way that Aim C saire meant it) in lines like there are no pauses to regulate the breath /the lights are green where periods go. White's enormous and inspired service, her nearly Olympian approach to Penny's gradually forming voice proves that there are still modes of poetic expression, finely tuned strings, capable of reaching both despair and love in a single pluck or utterance. The range of emotional incision in A PENNY SAVED cuts open many of our ugliest and most hidden domestic veins, patriarchal abuse. This book is the good lyric hurt that triumphs --Thomas Sayers Ellis.