Deborah Garrison’s The Second Child is a book of poems about family in a world both more exciting and more frightening than ever before. It explores many facets of motherhood – ambivalence, trepidation and joy – coming to terms with the seismic shift in her outlook and in the world around her. She confronts her post-9/11 fears as she commutes daily into New York City, continuing to seek passion in her marriage and wrestling with her feelings about faith and the mysterious gift of happiness.
Her critically acclaimed first collection A Working Girl Can’t Win chronicled the progress and predicaments of a young career woman. This new book shows her moving into another stage of adulthood, starting a family and saying goodbye to a more carefree self. Sometimes sensual, sometimes succinct, always candid, The Second Child is a meditation on the extraordinariness resident in the everyday – nursing babies, missing the past, knowing when to lead a child and knowing when to let go. With a voice sound and wise, Deborah Garrison examines a life fully lived.
‘With their short lines, sneaky rhymes, and casual leaps of metaphor, Garrison’s poems have a Dickinsonian intensity’ – John Updike
‘It takes agility and imagination to write well about the ordinary…Garrison’s first book won readers…with directness, modesty and unshowy wit. Those qualities also mark her new collection, The Second Child. This time the material includes parenthood and the attacks of September 11, 2001, with their aftermath…Garrison keeps her blessed and quotidian balance, in a remarkable way’ – Robert Pinsky, Washington Post Book World
‘Touching…the new poems are wonderful and different… This book…gives us equally weighted joys and sorrows’ – Courtney Birst, Bookslut
Deborah Garrison reads four poems
Deborah Garrison reads four New York poems from The Second Child: 'Goodbye, New York', 'I Saw You Walking', 'September Poem' and 'Into the Lincoln Tunnel', filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce in New York in September 2008. This footage is part of a longer film of Deborah Garrison to be included in the DVD-anthology In Person: World Poets in 2016.