Back in the day–when I was earning an MFA from the University of Washington–I knew Joanie Mackowski. She was clearly a rising star even then and I have kept my eye on her. This book, The Zoo (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002), won the 2000 Associated Writing Program Award in Poetry. I have a signed copy (from Joannie’s book launch at Open Books), and I admit to not merely having read it all the way through several times, but to having used the poems as models in my one-bad-poem process (2005-2010).
I love Joanie’s poems. They are crammed with scientific detail, with color and with and remarkable riffs of sound. To hear her reading her own work and discussing Sylvia Plath’s, visit this site. Meanwhile, here is the first poem of The Zoo, a book I am happy to recommend to you.