In this, her fourth book of poetry, one of Canada’s best-loved poets takes on one of the most compelling divas of our time. In sixty-one audacious poems, Jeanette Lynes re-imagines and reanimates the peripatetic art, life, and times of Dusty Springfield.
Alternating between playful irreverence and profound compassion, It’s Hard Being Queen paints a compulsively readable portrait of an extraordinary life. Each page is infused with wit, drama, and, of course, music. Jeanette Lynes not only steps into the icon’s shoes—she lives in her skin.
“No matter the magnitude of music’s role in our lives—and, for many of us, music remains the best way to tell you who we are—we still know very little about the artists who make it. We see their images everywhere. Dazzling stuff. We memorize the words to their songs. And yet we know nothing about them. Somewhere between the idealized world we impose on them and the dirty dishes in their sinks, they live a life, perhaps too much like our own. And from that place songs emerge. What Jeanette Lynes has done in this book is attempt an archaeology of that hidden realm. In some ways, she has convinced me that poetry is the medium through which we can get there. But I’m not convinced that just ANY poet can make that happen. Lynes has a sensitivity, a wonder, and, perhaps most importantly, a willingness to let her star, Dusty Springfield, exist in the mundane world that, otherwise, we expect—no, DEMAND —our stars to transcend. This is no hagiography. This is no tabloid adventure. Dusty has enough of both those things. In my view, what we have here is what the music deserves. At last.” — Warren Zanes, author of Dusty in Memphis
“It’s Hard Being Queen succeeds wonderfully as something both regal and gloriously wrecked.” — Brian Joseph Davis, Eye Weekly.com
“A remarkable, one-of-a-kind achievement and simply a great read. Mixing play with a Yeatsian cold eye, Lynes’s respect for her complex and human subject is felt in each and every line.” — David McGimpsey, author of Sitcom
“Jeanette Lynes rocks.” — Sina Queyras, author of Lemon Hound