Patricia Traxler

Photo by Ruth Moritz, 1994

Forbidden Words

From the Publisher:

"In her third poetry collection, Traxler examines the overt and hidden forces of language, including the power and weight of the unspoken and the relationship of women to language—how they may absorb power from it or use it as a refuge, how muteness can be a language in itself."

Some reviews of Forbidden Words:

“Gorgeous writing, and devastating... Patricia Traxler has done crucial work here: rigorous, faithful, tragic, hopeful, true.”
–Marie Howe, The Boston Review

Forbidden Words is an outstanding and enviable performance.”
–Ted Kooser, The Laurel Review

“These poems strike a thrilling balance between personal disclosure and the rigors of writing.”
Publishers Weekly

Forbidden Words is an intelligent, careful work by a gifted and generous poet.”
–Karen Volkman, The Harvard Review

Forbidden Words, is available at and other online retailers, or may be ordered directly from the University of Missouri Press.

Selected Works

"Traxler holds us in the devastating thrill of freefall, half-past naming and this close to combustion. Her skill at balancing the tempting fixity of nouns and the reckless commotion of verbs is no less heart-rending than a principal ballerina's sustained pirouette; she leaves us spinning..." --Joseph Braun, The Lune, March 2016 issue
“These poems strike a thrilling balance between personal disclosure and the rigors of writing.”
Publishers Weekly
"Brings to mind Walt Whitman at his best, for Traxler has written an absorbing, haunting, feminine 'Song of Myself,'" --Victor Contoski, Abraxas
"A fierce and passionate collection!" --Publishers Weekly
From the Toronto Sun: “Bloody good—a compelling and beautifully written novel." ...and from Margot Livesey, author of The Missing World and The House on Fortune Street: “With her stunning first novel, Blood, Patricia Traxler plunges the reader into a world both familiar and eerie. Seldom have the twin obsessions of love and art been more vividly or intelligently portrayed...More than almost any other novel I've read, Blood captures the relationship between an artist and her work, a relationship that is also susceptible to jealousy and revision and love...What an elegant, suspenseful debut.”
Selected Short Stories
Now available on Amazon's Kindle as singles, these award-winning short stories are from Traxler's collection in process, which looks with an ironic and darkly humorous eye at romantic love, fidelity and infidelity, the politics of sex, the single life and marriage, and the question of when, if ever, it all begins to make sense.
Author interviews
Traxler talks about dividing her writing life between poetry and fiction; about the challenges a writer faces when living in a region so far "outside the glittering current"; and about the literary influences and life experiences that have shaped her perspective as a woman and a writer.

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