Nicky Beer: Real Phonies & Genuine Fakes, an exploration of our divided selves

Persona poetry is taking on a voice that isn’t yours and finding a way to speak your truths through that voice….to pursue a voice that isn’t necessarily heroic or very nice; it allows you to be transgressive in ways that you don’t feel comfortable speaking as yourself. It’s an incredible vehicle for play in poetry as well as the theatre.

I’m a displaced poet from Long Island living in Denver, writing with the hope that I’ll help other folks feel less alone. I celebrate all things queer, creepy, comic, disturbing, and tentacular in my work. Jon Cryer retweeted me once. 

Nicky Beer is a bi/queer writer, and the author of Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes (Milkweed, 2022). Her first two books, The Diminishing House (Carnegie Mellon, 2010) and The Octopus Game (Carnegie Mellon, 2015), were both winners of the Colorado Book Award for Poetry. She has received honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, the Poetry Foundation, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

She is an associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver, where she is as a poetry editor for Copper Nickel.

Nicky Beer’s latest collection of poems is a “labyrinthine academy specializing in the study of subterfuge; Marlene Dietrich, Dolly Parton, and Batman are its instructors. With an energetic eye, she thumbs through our collective history books—and her personal one, too—in an effort to chart the line between playful forms of duplicity and those that are far more insidious.” Lambda Most Anticipated LGBTQIA+ Book of March 2022

What is illusion—a deception, or a revelation? What is a poem—the truth, or “a diverting flash, / a mirror showing everything / but itself”?

Through delicious japery, poems that can be read multiple ways, and allusions ranging from Puccini’s operas to Law & Order, Beer troubles the notion of truth. Often, we settle for whatever brand of honesty is convenient for us, or whatever is least likely to spark confrontation—but this, Beer knows, is how we invite others to weigh in on what kind of person we are. This is how we trick ourselves into believing they’re right. “Listen / to how quiet it is when I lose the self-doubt played / for so long I mistook it for music.”

Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes asks us to look through the stereoscope: which image is the real one? This one—or this one, just here? With wisdom, humility, and a forthright tenderness, Nicky Beer suggests that we consider both—together, they might contribute to something like truth.

To purchase: Click on this link

Twitter: @nbeerpoet

Website: nickybeer.com

#LGBTQ #RealPhoniesandGenuineFakes #MilkweedPress #Poetry #Poet #ArtsAdvocacy

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