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Vulgar Remedies


88 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / no illustrations

ebook available


  Paperback / 9780807152195 / August 2013

“Anna Journey’s poetry is really magical.”—David Lynch, director of Blue Velvet and creator of Twin Peaks

“Anna Journey’s second collection of poems is wonderful and brings something precise and wild out of a vivid night, an imagery that finds its own necessary music, like sudden isolated birdsongs at dawn. The multiplying shadows of the mind are made exterior here, surprisingly illustrated with anecdotal thought. And Dante no longer concludes that all lovers are martyrs. I’m so happy to have this work in my life.”—Norman Dubie, author of The Volcano

“Anna Journey, in her new book of poems, Vulgar Remedies, creates an alchemical self whose shimmering limbic / alembic lyrics distill the mysterious terrors of childhood, the dangerous passions of adults, into her own honey-dusk ‘voodun’: protective, purified to gold. Poetry is always a time machine: here we are invisible travelers to a bewitched past, a beautifully occluded future. These poems are erotic, vertiginous, revelatory, their dazzling lyric force reflecting profound hermetic life.”—Carol Muske-Dukes, author of Twin Cities

Anna Journey is the author of the poetry collections Vulgar Remedies and If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting, which was selected by Thomas Lux for the National Poetry Series, and the essay collection An Arrangement of Skin. Journey has received fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Yaddo. She teaches at the University of Southern California.

Praise for Vulgar Remedies

"So boldly rendered, such sketches from memory—some from long ago, some from recent travels with a husband or fiancée—make Journey at her finest a kind of Southern Gothic answer to Laura Kasischke..."—Publishers Weekly [full review]

Vulgar Remedies, startles with its lucid, lovely, electric images. Journey’s poems are visceral, they crack and chirr. They draw you in with their singular images (a boy sucking the speaker’s eyeball, a fistulated cow, birds in the blood), and they keep you close with their lyrical, intimate tone. The poems seem spare, yet once inside them, you’ll find yourself transfixed, dizzy, off balance.”—Prairie Schooner

“Journey confronts her ghosts in unexpected places. . . . But her world is far from grim; wrought with dazzling chimerical characters and an intense awareness of the body—its maturation and decay, orgasm and metabolism—her language is bold and bewitchingly erotic. . . . She convincingly rearranges time and space into her own associative patterns, just as she rearranges the English language into her own virtuosic idiom.”—Maggie Millner, The Iowa Review

“Sifting through the detritus of recalled and imagined landscapes, the poems in Vulgar Remedies seek violent metamorphosis through sensory, often bodily engagement. . . . Marrying fact and memory with macabre imagination and erotic disintegration, Journey achieves a poetry of place that honors the complexity of the contemporary consciousness.”—Southeast Review

“The cover of Anna Journey’s new collection of poems, Vulgar Remedies, is an apt metaphor for the kind of poetry she writes.  The cover image, ‘House #3,’ by Francesca Woodman, seems to depict a young woman materializing in a sort of magical, alchemical process in an abandoned, dilapidated house.  In just this way, Journey’s poetry partakes of transformation, the magic of dreams, and a nostalgia for a past that may never have occurred.”—Chamber Four

Extras for Vulgar Remedies

Vulgar Remedies was a Rumpus Poetry Book Club selection. Read Anna Journey's chat with Rumpus readers here!

Anna Journey talks to Sean Bishop at Gulf Coast Mag about the collection.

At Southeast Review, Anna Journey discusses Vulgar Remedies with Anna Claire Hodge.

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