Winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry
This distinctive collection introduces a new type of mythmaking, daring in its marriage of fairy tale tropes with American mundanities. Conspiratorial, Goodbye, Flicker describes the interior life of a girl whose prince is a deadbeat dad and whose escape into a fantasy world is also an escape into language, beauty, and the surreal.
"Open Goodbye, Flicker and enter the world of Owl Girl, Natasha, the Sliver Poet, 'the most prolific girl in school,' a girl 'poor / lazy / clever / long and golden,' facing always the eternal choice: 'boy or liberty.' It's as if Giménez Smith threw a stone called 'girl' into the pond of psyche—a psyche both personal and collective—and these are the ripples. The magic needle becomes the tool to 'look store-bought,' the golden key the means to wait on 'jordaches and polos, / husband and coin.' The archetypal and the daily—its engine of class, race and gender—come fully forward in this terrific book, where lyric and narrative modes play, where 'Tale is a world / of condition,' where every She seeks to change her story."—Dana Levin, author of In the Surgical Theater and Sky Burial
"Giménez Smith brings poetic impulse to every syllable of her...work."—Literary Mama
"Her Juniper Prize-winning third collection tells the tale of Natasha, a young girl who escapes oppressive poverty to a fantasy world compounded of traditional myth and her own imagination, a world always on the verge of unraveling. . . . Goodbye, Flicker is less Wonderland than looking glass, a gateway into which our reluctant storyteller must escape but in which, also, we can't help but see ourselves."—Booklist
"Giménez Smith pushes the boundaries of language, condensing her lines too tightly for articles and considering issues of translation. Her poems contain both the lyric and the narrative, bound by abrupt turns that require the confidence of a fairy-tale listener: anything can happen. . . . By inviting readers to observe these magical reinventions of myth, Goodbye, Flicker considers myth, memory, stories, and family from surprising angles. As a reader, I feel privileged to observe the moments when these perspectives allow the speaker to move from the existing narratives to the creation of her own."—So to Speak: a feminist journal of language and art
"Gimenez Smith's third collection braids references to classic fairy tales drawn from a deep well of sources--dark, violent, twisted narratives that ensnare and repeat. . . . her expansive, visionary work promises to satisfy many hungers."—Los Angeles Review of Books