“Lies, wishes, fantasies—all the weaponry of compassionate imagination at war with society—deploy with delicious satire in [Muske-Dukes’s] first book.” —Library Journal
A poet, novelist, critic, and essayist, Carol Muske-Dukes has established herself as one of the preeminent talents of modern American writing. Birth, loss, imprisonment, and renewal are among the subjects of Camouflage, her first published book of poems. These twenty-eight poems are a young writer’s stream of consciousness set in formal verse. In “Photographer,” Muske-Dukes slides between light and dark. “Salad Days: Nebraska, 1964,” relives a plane ride over the state’s rolling plains. And the tongue-in-cheek yet respectful “Swansong” evokes a childhood ballet class, taught by a faded prima ballerina. Each poem is a skin, a mask, a camouflage meant for survival—a place of regeneration and change.