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Enduring Freedom

Poetry. Taking—and twisting—the title of an Iraq operation for its own, Laura Mullen's seventh book might be summed up in the phrase André Breton famously applied to Frieda Kahlo: "a bomb with a ribbon around it." An extraordinarily comprehensive, sympathetic and scathing, catalog of brides, this collection of poems is also an examination of the emotional costs of a sustained attention to party planning in the face of an almost invisible war. Influenced equally by Italo Calvino and Martha Stewart, playing with conceptual poetry as well as Romance clichés, Mullen's poetic environment, and the language that sustains it, is as remarkable as it is disquieting.