Whoever they were, they’re still with us,
posing demurely in suits of blood
and muscle, the bruised shadows
of what skin they do have purpling
like crushed petunias. . .
—from “Gautier d’Agoty’s Écorchés”
“The resurrection trade,” the business of trafficking in corpses, is an old trade, one that makes possible the art of anatomy and, as poet Leslie Adrienne Miller discovers, the art of her own book. Miller delves into the mysteries of early anatomical studies and medical illustrations and finds there stories of women’s lives–sometimes tragic, sometimes comic–as exposed as the drawings themselves. These meticulously researched and rendered poems become powerful testimonies to women’s bodies objectified and misunderstood throughout history. Miller’s sensuous and harrowing fifth collection brings a new truth to what she calls “the strange collusion of imaginary science and real art.”
This is an unusually interesting collection, finely tuned on both its human and conceptual levels, the work of an accomplished poet who can be funny, shocking, moving, and informative without losing her poise, her sense of humor, or her ultimate seriousness of purpose.
—Stan Sanvel Rubin
The Resurrection Trade is a revealing look at one of the ways women’s bodies have been constructed over time through the eyes of men. The book remains grounded through Miller’s writing of her present day experiences that contain the humanity that is lacking in the tinted prints she has studied.
. . . a series of elegant literary meditations on the vagaries of the female condition as refracted through the imperfect understanding of . . . male medical science.
Twin Cities Daily Planet
. . .fascinating in their historic reach and strangely erotic
in their subject matter
–Kate Templeton Fox