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Centaur (Brittingham Prize in Poetry)by Greg Wrenn
Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the 2014 Brittingham Prize in Poetry, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye
The word tyrant” carries negative connotations, but in this new collection, Joanne Diaz tries to understand what makes tyranny so compelling, even seductive. These dynamic, funny, often poignant poems investigate the nature of tyranny in all of its forms—political, cultural, familial, and erotic. Poems about Stalin, Lenin, and Castro appear beside poems about deeply personal histories. The result is a powerful exploration of desire, grief, and loss in a world where private relationships are always illuminated and informed by larger, more despotic forces.
Greg Wrenn's debut collection opens with a long poem in which a man undergoes surgery to become a centaur. Other poems speak in voices as varied as those of Robert Mapplethorpe, Hercules, and a Wise Man at the birth of Jesus. Centaur skitters along the blurred lines between compulsivity and following one's heart, stasis and self-realization, human and animal. Here, suffering and transcendence are restlessly conjoined.
Winner of the 2014 Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Crossing many geographies and eras, the poems of My Favorite Tyrants lyrically explore why tyranny is so compelling, even seductive. Joanne Diazs powerful and provocative collection is marked by the exploration of desire, grief, and loss in a world where private relationships are always illuminated by larger, more despotic forces.
About the Author
Greg Wrenn, a native of northeast Florida, is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and a recipient of the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America. His work has appeared in New England Review, The American Poetry Review, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. He is a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University.
Table of Contents
Low Tide on the Windward Shore
One of the Magi
Brother on Brother
Reuben on Joseph
Self-Portrait as Robert Mapplethorpe
Prayer at Ojai
Mother of Light
South of Jacksonville
Three Attempts to Understand Suffering
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