Taste of Cherry


Taste of Cherry

Kara Candito

The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry Series

80 pages


September 2009


$17.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In Kara Candito’s prize-winning debut collection a “garish/human theatre” comes to life against richly textured geographic and psychic landscapes. These poems are high-speed meditations on a world where Walter Benjamin meets the “glitzy chain-link of Chanel scarves” and Puccini’s Tosca meets the din of the Times Square subway station. Ferociously witty and intensely lyrical, Taste of Cherry speaks to us in a language that is simultaneously private and public, sensual and cerebral.

Author Bio

Kara Candito’s work has appeared in such journals as Gulf Coast, Blackbird, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, Best New Poets 2007, and the Florida Review. She has been awarded scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and the Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences Foundation. She has an MFA from the University of Maryland and is currently a PhD candidate and instructor at Florida State University.


“In Kara Candito’s remarkable first collection, we feel in the presence of a sure, authoritative voice, an intelligence and sensibility capable of registering the complexities of the sensual life.”—Stephen Dunn, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Different Hours

“These poems are poised and raw, hard-knuckled and siren-sweet. Their many speakers confess openly to a desire to be transformed, even undone, by unmitigated experience. Fearlessly and with clear-eyed candor, Candito sings a whole new set of constellations—made of ‘the body’s light . . . the din of a hundred conversations’—into bright being.”—Tracy K. Smith, author of Duende

“Just as wry, smartly provocative and interestingly disturbing as its title promises. With this book, Candito announces herself as a poetic voice born to our landscape fully formed, with intelligence and style to spare.”—Erin Belieu, author of Black Box

“The speaker of these poems wanders again and again ‘where the guidebook says DANGER,’ and even as the poet finds terror and pain in the lavish wreckage of twisted urges, a formal clarity, fueled by a profound hunger for life, keeps asserting itself in Taste of Cherry.”—Dean Young

"Taste of Cherry derives its name from the Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami's film of the same name about a man who considers suicide but decides to live after tasting mulberries. The title invokes something powerfully present in Candito's poems as glimmers of these pivotal moments of sensation emerge, revealing layers of meaning buried beneath the surface of our daily experience."—Katie Willingham, Rain Taxi

Table of Contents



Self-Portrait with an Ice Pick

La Bufera: Our Last Trip to Sicily

Floristic Elegy for the Year I Lived with You in Coconut Grove

Notes for a Novice Flâneur

Postcard: I've Been Meaning to Write--

Egypt Journal: The Poet's Condition

Egypt Journal: Christmas at the Great Pyramid

Two. Portraits

Carnivale, 1934

Epic Poem Concerning the Poet's Coming of Age as Attis

Gilead Red

Girl in the Grass


Taste of Cherry

Barely Legal: Upon Finding My Father's Porn

A Necessary Fiction

He Was Only Half as Beautiful


Sleeping with René Magritte


Strange Zippers: A Poem in Which the Heroine _______

The Fitting

On the Occasion of Our Argument During a <SC>vh</SC>1 Best Power Ballads Countdown

Last Happiness



Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry

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