“Marjorie Becker’s second collection of poems, Piano Glass/Glass Piano, is a truly remarkable achievement. Novelistic in its narrative conception and operatic in its dramatic sweep, this sequence of poems charts the oscillations of identity and sexuality, following the story of its speaker/narrator, Marnie, who is first seamstress then shopkeeper, and whore then Madam. Unspoken racial anxiety, the construction of Southern Jewish identity, the potential transformation of the self by use of the body—all of these are at stake and under discussion in Marnie’s brilliantly interwoven stories. Marnie is an extraordinary character, one of the most provocative and compelling female speakers in recent fiction or poetry… Though the velvet sexual hammers within keep threatening to shatter the glass piano that is Marnie, the power of her endurance is that she remains held to its music, and to the songs of her own body and her own defiant dreams.”
—David St. John
“In Marjorie Becker’s Piano Glass/Glass Piano, we are immersed in a world of sensual tutelage, of aromas, of characters so true and rich, so lush and inviting that their seductions become our seductions. These poems reach a depth of feeling and music and just when we think they can go no further they probe deeper into mythic layers of eroticism and loss. These are fantastic and compelling poems, an amalgamation of poetic flight and earth tones. This is simply an exquisite book that satisfies the mind and all the senses.”
“Marjorie Becker’s Piano Glass/Glass Piano is a buoyant Southern epic of desire, a medley of silk and fruit and sexuality rising up from Macon to New Orleans and back. Her narrations are fierce, authentic, and far-ranging: family loyalties, powerful sex, and fiery cultural history. Becker’s chiastic title reminds us that what sings must be transparent, and what is laid bare must sing.”
“Marjorie Becker has created something startling from “this flesh world” in Piano Glass/Glass Piano. Urgent chords and ground notes, kaleidoscopic images couple and re-couple in this book-length fugue, lines dense with ravishment, on the dream of our bodies....”
—Marsha de la O
“Marjorie Becker is the author of the poetry collection Body Bach and of the historical monograph, Setting the Virgin on Fire: Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán Peasants and the Redemption of the Mexican Revolution. A fifth-generation Macon, Georgia Jewish native, she was trained in Spanish beginning in childhood. She studied in Spain and served in the Peace Corps in rural Paraguay. As a professional journalist, she wrote about race relations in the Deep South. A Yale-trained historian of Latin American cultural history, much of her historical writing focuses on the Mexican revolution, Frida Kahlo, the power of dance, the worlds of longing. She is an associate professor of Latin American History at the University of Southern California. She lives in Santa Monica.