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Postage Due

Postage Due

Postage Due

by Julie Marie Wade

Postage Due is a sometimes-ekphrastic, often-epistolary scrapbook of poetic artifacts documenting an odd girl's coming of age. Within, we find aubades, fugues, and nocturnes, rapturous ambivalence and apologies without regret. Also, epiphanies: "Home is a fault line that/strikes the earth differently/ now, ruptures the pen's/smooth line like a polygraph. Interspersed with postcards to a lost past, fan letters to childhood heroes, and inhabited voices as varied as Hester Prynne, Mr. Clean, and Vanna White, this unconventional debut collection pulses with the kitsch and candor of a bold, postmodern künstlerroman.

About the Author

Born in Seattle in 1979, Julie Marie Wade completed a Master of Arts in English at Western Washington University in 2003, a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Humanities at the University of Louisville in 2012. She is the author of five collections of poetry, including Same-Sexy Marriage (A Midsummer Night's Press, 2018), SIX (Red Hen Press, 2016), and When I Was Straight (A Midsummer Night's Press, 2014), as well as four collections of lyric nonfiction, including Catechism: A Love Story (Noctuary Press, 2016), Small Fires: Essays (Sarabande Books, 2011), and Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures (Bywater Books, 2014; Colgate University Press, 2010). Wade teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami and reviews regularly for Lambda Literary Review and The Rumpus.  She is married to Angie Griffin and lives on Hollywood Beach.

Visit the author's website.



Wade rolls words like they are hoops: ‘& my selfishness & his submissiveness were no longer under scrutiny the way they were when he became divided by my mother, & since’… The poet’s rhythmic sense and facility are a joy. Her use of ampersands mimes a style of logic I transliterate thusly: & because a & b happened, then c was likely). The ampersand’s sly female squiggle is an expression and amplification of a girl’s twisting reach for something great, or at least more fantastical than is normative. Perhaps influenced by the geography of her West Seattle childhood, West Seattle being sort-of beachy, a sort-of promontory on the Puget Sound, Wade knows to allow the words and rhythms to roll on in her vast paragraphs, as a westerner should.
— Sarah Sarai, Lambda Literary Review
Julie Marie Wade’s Postage Due is a dazzling series of necessary utterances. Those addressed in these intriguingly immediate poems sometimes get what’s coming to them; other times, they are given their due, and this poet pays up. Wade uses the language of Christianity to section her book, fraught with joy and pain, to explore what we owe and to whom. She employs postcards, letters, and literary and pop culture heroines—most notably Oz’s Dorothy—to tell and retell of the dreamlike past. Come out, come out, wherever you are. In Postage Due, you will meet the (post-confessional) young lady who fell from a star.
— Denise Duhamel
Poised somewhere between the good girl’s nostalgia and the bad girl’s vengeance, the speaker in Postage Due recounts a personal history shaped by familial, religious, and societal proprieties. Wounded and rapturous at once, the letters that comprise this collection talk back to the heroes and villains of that harrowing history: girlfriends and parents, Mary Tyler Moore and The Stafford Shirt Man. The real addressee of these letters is, of course, the speaker’s younger self, whose vulnerability and fierceness the poems achingly recover. This book is as ardent as it is bitter, as painful as it is transfiguring.
— Rick Barot
Julie Marie Wade’s Postage Due is a fierce homage to the past using a pocket knife. Wade poems leave me breathless in their rough cutting into the experiences of gender, sex, violence, regret, and revenge. This is a poetry that screams into what can sometimes be a hollow existence with a brave language that holds us unforgivingly in its grip.
— Dawn Lundy Martin
The poet’s job is to name the invisible and unnameable, to give voice to the unspeaking and unspeakable past—‘All of it a dream from which you suddenly wake up.’ Julie Marie Wade’s poems do just that, in a formally dexterous volume of poems that fit individual memories of a repressive childhood against the art of Magritte, the icon Mary Richards, and the protagonist of a Carson McCullers’ novel. This marriage of high and low is made holy by the searing lyricism of the poems themselves. Brave, defiant, and thrilling, Postage Due dares to speak from ‘the trenches of language that divide us’—to sing back from those divides a suturing song.
— James Allen Hall

Release DateApril 2013




Dimensions5.9 x 0.3 x 9 inches

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