Devil’s Paintbrush

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Desirée Alvarez

80 pp., 6.5 x 8.5, Paperback


March 2016


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Winner of the 2015 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize

The speakers in Devil’s Paintbrush are simultaneously prophetic and playful, as in the poem “Echolocation.” In it, Alvarez writes, “I stole the owl’s nest that she stole from the hawk. / Since then I’ve always walked as though hands ran / up my legs and this is flight.”

Alvarez, in addition to being a poet, is an artist. She even created the cover image for the book using a flamethrower! She teaches visual art at the Juilliard School and New York City College of Technology, CUNY, and often refers to painting in her writing. Devil’s Paintbrush is divided into five sections, all with art-related titles: “Trompe L’oeil,” “Portraiture,” “Night Landscape,” “Figure-Ground Illusion, and “Illuminated.”