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Anchorage poet Olena Kalytiak Davis is out with a new collection, “The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems,” and a New Yorker review remarks on the work’s ambition and complexity.

It also suggest that Davis’s home in Anchorage affects her work -- though not in the obvious ways, such as providing a unique “sense of place,” in which Alaska is often cited as affecting resident artists’ work.

“The poems can be tawdry, but any art so fixated on its imperfections comes off as weirdly pure,” writes critic Dan Chiasson. “Maybe some of this is geographical. Poets on the usual coasts can keep themselves busy inside the panopticon, never far from a bar reading or a teaching gig. Davis, who was born in 1963, in Detroit, to Ukrainian parents, has for years lived in and around Anchorage, Alaska, where she works as an attorney.”

Besides their weird purity, which may or may not owe something to Anchorage, Chiasson finds in Davis’s poems a “discomfiting proximity” and “unsought intimacy” which might seem off-putting, but which he argues is “is the fundamental pleasure of poetry. Davis’s poems plunge us right into the heart of it.” Read the full review here.

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