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If I Should Say I Have Hope
by Lynn Melnick
Cover by: Zoe Crosher
Published: 12/1/2012
ISBN: 9781936919123
Price: $16.00
96 pages/45 poems
Publisher: YesYes Books

Advance Praise:

The title of Melnick's stunning book is a microcosm of the poems within–the uncertainty of "If I should say" followed
by the defiance of "I have hope." Her poems follow moments of unmooredness ("I am best / when I dabble in consciousness
and a soundly / spinning room") with blinding insight (You wouldn't know happy if it kissed you on the mouth)–tiptoeing
followed by a kick to the head. On the melancholy-go-round of these poems, there’s a swan-seat for sadness but also a
tiger called Beauty and a horse called Hope. The unexpected music and syntax of Melnick's work will make you want to
ride/read it again and again.
–Matthea Harvey

Lynn Melnick’s debut, If I Should Say I Have Hope, recalls Tennyson's startled utterance in his own extended elegy, In
Memoriam: "No more? A monster then, a dream, / A discord. . ." Indeed, the monsters that rise from these pages place
their hands so firmly around the reader's neck in this gripping free-fall that one experiences visceral fear on behalf
of the speaker. While syntactical and lyrical derangement engineer the book's latent catastrophe, the grim levity and
macabre candor of the speaker's intelligence serve to detonate the work as a whole. This book is extraordinary for its
depth of feeling and unshakable originality.
–Cate Marvin

Lynn Melnick's poems are a series of swift kicks knocking over whatever a lot of Boys think it's like to be a Girl. They're
also the bruises afterward. If I Should Say I Have Hope teems with very small and much larger devastations, crackling through-
out with fierceness and stealth and wry intelligence. 'There’s some kind of crazy on the way," she says. Those of us who've
seen that crazy coming need this book. Those of us who haven't need it more.
–Mark Bibbins

About the Author:

Lynn Melnick was born in Indianapolis and grew up in Los Angeles. Her poetry has appeared in BOMB, Denver Quarterly, Guernica,
Gulf Coast, jubilat, The Paris Review, A Public Space, and elsewhere. Her fiction has appeared in Opium and Forklift, Ohio,
and she has written essays and book reviews for Boston Review, Coldfront, LA Review of Books, Poetry Daily, and VIDAweb, among
others. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.

From the Book:

Sacré Cœur
by Lynn Melnick

In my worries I am plummeting down steps,
industrial, medieval, breezy welcome

stairs like little landings where a foot could catch.
In some nightmares my breasts are so misshapen

they are no longer mammalian, quite,
this inevitable evolution we can’t call progress.

Those mornings I wake exactly as I fell,
a little upright, on my back, static and sweaty

and always next to you. Call it relief
to find everything as it was, though one summer I fell up

and up and up and it was a good lesson
in the sham of gravity.

And once, when we found ourselves in another summer
overlooking an entire city, we thought

we couldn't get older or higher,
though in my worries I am both, and falling.

originally published in A Public Space  

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