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Dr. Donika Kelly's poetry collection, "Bestiary," earned praise from critic David Orr in the Feb. 3 New York Times.
"If a few poems here seem slight, or too willfully autobiographical," Orr writes, "that is a small price to pay for the possibilities her work suggests."
Kelly is an assistant professor of English at St. Bonaventure University. "Bestiary" was named to the 2016 National Book Award longlist for poetry.
The collection was selected by some of the most distinguished poets and publishers in the field through the nonprofit National Book Foundation. Since 1950, the foundation has awarded literary prizes to the most highly regarded writers in the United States, including William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore and Allen Ginsberg.
“Bestiary” contains poems on moving between the southern and western United States, how to be identified, and what it means to be oneself. These themes, among others, are woven into the poems through the use of hybrid monster characters from Greek mythology and pop culture.
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