Perugia Press
Celebrating poetry by women since 1997

The Wishing Tomb by Amanda Auchter
Winner of the
2013 PEN Center USA
Award in Poetry
94 pages, $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-9794582-5-5
© 2012

The Wishing Tomb

by Amanda Auchter

The Wishing Tomb continually employs disjunctions in its lyrical imagery, layering opulent descriptions of flowers, food, and music with scenes of struggle and brutality. In this way, Auchter authenticates New Orleans: there are no euphemisms or simplistic portrayals of Mardi Gras or hurricane outreach here. Rather, she presents the city as multifaceted, its traditions both comforting and catastrophic. Disaster is spliced with natural beauty.”

Beloit Poetry Journal

“Auchter reminds us... that paradise isnít a hidden place we will eventually discover. Itís a shelter we have to build against the violence of the world.”

—Zone 3 [read the full review]

The Wishing Tomb is a lyric history of New Orleans’ beauty and brutality, both human and environmental. Amanda Auchter is a poet of rare elegance and dexterity who writes just as movingly about gunshot as she does the markings of brick-scratch left on the tomb of Marie Laveau. Every city deserves the subtle attention of such a poet, a poet brave and nimble enough to touch every line of the city’s rough, loved, and disastrous skin.”

—Katie Ford

“In these textured, deftly-crafted stanzas, Amanda Auchter romances the grit, the rampant spice, the twang, the mystery, the brick, the swelter, and the insistent hallelujah conjured by the Crescent City. This sparkling, defiant love story pays tribute to NOLA on the upswing, while remembering how often it has teetered on the edge of descent.”

—Patricia Smith