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With Whitmanesque exuberance and voracity, Melissa Studdard’s I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast is a collection that devours the world even as it offers it—a collection that, through all its doubts and wounds, through “fire, ice, hurricanes, tsunamis, and quakes” arrives “with that tornado in its throat”— love—to spark renewal again and again.
Noting the voluptuous, yet spiritual thrust of the book, Robert Pinsky states, “Melissa Studdard’s high-flying, bold poetic language expresses an erotic appetite for the world: ‘this desire to butter and eat the stars,’ as she says, in words characteristically large yet domestic, ambitious yet chuckling at their own nerve. This poet’s ardent, winning ebullience echoes that of God, a recurring character here, who finds us Her children, splotchy, bawling and imperfect though we are, “flawless in her omniscient eyes.”
Poet Cate Marvin observes, “In so many ways the poems in this book read like paintings, touching and absorbing the light of the known world while fingering the soul until it lifts, trembling. Gates splayed, bodies read as books, and hearts born of mouths, Studdard's study, which is a creation unto itself, would have no doubt pleased Neruda's taste for the alchemic impurity of poetry, which is, as we know, poetry that is not only most pure of heart, but beautifully generous in vision and feeling.”
Melissa Studdard is the author the bestselling novel, Six Weeks to Yehidah, and other books. Her works have received numerous awards, including the Forward National Literature Award and the International Book Award. Her poems and short writings have appeared in dozens of journals and anthologies, and she serves or has recently served as a reviewer-at-large for The National Poetry Review, an interviewer for American Microreviews and Interviews, a professor for Lone Star College System, a teaching artist for The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative, an editorial adviser for The Criterion, and host of Tiferet Talk radio.