Chapbook: A Conversation with My Imaginary Daughter by James Cihlar

“‘It is a long road to Moxie,’ notes the speaker in ‘The Reality Show,’ one of the contemplative and ultimately hopeful poems that make up A Conversation with My Imaginary Daughter. Moxie, a throwback expression denoting the ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage; aggressive energy; initiative; skill and know how. So the poems in this chapbook give us the view, forwards and backwards, along that long, strange road. A sad, shrewd humor permeates this collection, as does a palpable sense of gratitude. What’s Franchot Tone to the fight one wages for identity against one’s mother, or Moses to the zeitgeist, except, in every life, connections to a vibrant imagined past mark the borders? As the speaker notes in ‘Second Banana,’ ‘Unity is the moment when living becomes history.’” —Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, 2012 poetry judge


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James Cihlar is the author of the poetry books Rancho Nostalgia (Dream Horse Press, 2013), Undoing (Little Pear Press, 2008) and the chapbook Metaphysical Bailout (Pudding House Press). His writing has been published in the American Poetry Review, The Awl, Court Green, Smartish Pace, The Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, Lambda Literary Review, and Forklift, Ohio. The recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowships for Poetry and a Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner, Cihlar teaches literature and publishing courses at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.