Paperback / softback
October 31, 2008
8.25 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.4 Pounds (US)
$16.95 USD
v2.1 Reference

In the Truth Room

Winner of the Morse Poetry Prize (2008)“In the Truth Room suggests the shape and necessity of a life, at once dramatically compelling and immediately believable, one in which children are eating smores while watching a Fawlty Towers video, and Volvos are skidding on ice, and people are going to 12-step meetings, museums are being visited, and jobs and essential human relationships hang in the balance. … On the face of it, the story at the center of the book seems archetypal: a daughter in midlife making sense of ongoing experience in the wake of her mother’s death while dealing with substantial crises and, eventually, undertaking what amounts to a pilgrimage. The overarching theme is individual, feminist, contemporary: how does a woman know herself apart from convention and duty? Certainly the intense poems about the mother are key to this theme. But In the Truth Room is less about one life than a fabric of interwoven lives: four generations of family, friends, dear ones, present and departed—I would be hard-pressed to name a poetry book that develops and displays affection for more characters, or, for that matter, one that contains more life.”—from the introduction by Rodney Jones

About the Author

ROESER won the 2004 Morse Poetry Prize for her first book, Beautiful Motion. Her poems have also appeared on Poetry Daily. She lives in West Lafayette, Indiana. RODNEY JONES, winner of the national Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, teaches at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.


"Dana Roeser's second collection, In the Truth Room, is a face-to-face with those propulsive forces that shape contemporary life: the push and pull of a difficult marriage, raising children, the deaths of parents and friends. An eye for poignant detail and a gift for seeing the metaphorical possibilities of the everyday characterize Roeser's best work. Throughout In the Truth Room, the reader feels the pressure of autobiography, the poet's lived experience, conveyed by a persona who is at once familiar and fresh."—Blackbird


"In a time so eager to see wisdom usurped by information, it is especially wonderful to come upon poems whose every occasion shines from within: with mind, with candor and with bright consideration. Dana Roeser is one of our most truly thoughtful poets, and I rejoice in the continuing venture of her work."—Donald Revell

"Wry, thoughtful, brooding, navigating seamlessly between future, present and past, between subjective and outer life, Dana Roeser's lanky poems are neck deep in life, and relentlessly intent on learning the truth. She has her own charming and muscular prosody, she tells lively, moving stories, but it is the determined persistence of their very human speaker which drives the poems. They keep drilling into, pushing and prying, trying to find the deepest chambers of experience, where the mystery dwells. In The Truth Room is a wonderful book by a fully-developed and original poet."—Tony Hoagland
Northeastern University Press
Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize

9781555536978 : in-the-truth-room-roeser
Paperback / softback
88 Pages
$16.95 USD

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Beautiful Motion

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Oct 2004 - Northeastern University Press
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