Her Favorite Book

Redux: A Literary Journal
#112: “Her Favorite Book” by Jonathan Weinert

I don’t remember where I was when I wrote the first draft of “Her Favorite Book,” but I do remember some of its sources and influences. I had been carefully reading Frank Bidart’s Star Dust when it appeared in 2006. With poems about killer-sculptor Benvenuto Cellini, the architects of the 9/11 attacks, and a shamanic rape and murder, the collection draws alarming connections between violence and the creative impulse. In response, and to make a container for my dismay and fascination, I wrote a sequence of poems tracing the evidence of violence in individual psychology, collective history, religion, and confounded love. The sequence features a recasting of the story of Exodus, an imagined account of my grandfather’s emigration from Romania to the US in the early 1900s, and a serial killer whose latest victim is a young girl named Virginia Child.

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