"Shaughnessy's particular genius . . . is utterly poetic, but essayistic in scope."--The New Yorker
"Brenda Shaughnessy's work is a good place to start for any passionate woman feeling daunted by poetry." --Cosmopolitan
"Shaughnessy's voice is smart, sexy, self-aware, hip . . . consistently wry, and ever savvy."--Harvard Review
Subversions of idiom and cliche punctuate Shaughnessy's fourth collection as she approaches middle age and revisits the memories, romances, and music of adolescence. So Much Synth is a brave and ferocious collection composed of equal parts femininity, pain, pleasure, and synthesizer. While Shaughnessy tenderly winces at her youthful excesses, we humbly catch glimpses of our own.
From "Never Ever":
Late is a synonym for dead which is a euphemism
for ever. Ever is a double-edged word,
at once itself and its own opposite: always
and always some other time.
In the category of cleave, then. To cut and to cling to,
Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa, Japan and grew up in Southern California. She is the author of three books of poetry, including Human Dark with Sugar, winner of the James Laughlin Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Our Andromeda, which was a New York Times Book Review "100 Notable Books of 2013." She is an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University, Newark, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.