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“Anne Champion’s poems engage a paradoxical world—a gift is a curse, a silhouette is a shadow, a flower’s “bloom and death are the same.” Champion looks hard at love’s pleasure and harder at its cruelties. In these poems, the future is sought in tarot decks, Ouija boards, a lover’s palm, anything that might tell the feral parishioners of love where to soothe and excite what is wildest in them.”

–Traci Brimhall, author of Our Lady of the Ruins and Rookery

 “Anne Champion’s first book is a revelation of sexuality and textuality, of lust and language turned reverently to the transgressive.  Rebellious and impassioned, these poems at once call out to the lover and manifest loss, caught up in the body’s—and the imagination’s—rapture.”

–Christine Casson, author of After the First World

“Anne Champion’s Reluctant Mistress is a fearless collection of palm readings, dying stars, tequila stains, and self-preservation. Her poems curse, cry, nibble and flirt through a profound investigation into love’s many shapes. Champion writes boldly of one-night stands, adultery, obsessive love, and lust with the grace of a natural storyteller, ultimately reminding us that what we try to forget, the flesh always remembers.”

–Mary Stone Dockery, author of Mythology of Touch