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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Benjamin Parzybok: IMG A Brief History of Video Games Played by Mayors, Presidents, and Emperors

Brandon Bartlett, the fictional mayor of Portland in my novel Sherwood Nation, is addicted to playing video games. In a city he's all but lost... Continue »
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Praise Nothing: Poems


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Praise Nothing, Joshua Robbins writes from a suburban landscape of strip mall bars and vacant lots in which addicts and itinerant preachers, hymns and the turnpike's whine are all made to confess, to testify to the hard truths of faith and doubt in middle-class America. In this arresting and finely crafted debut collection, readers travel a via negativa of sidewalk weeds and patched asphalt that meanders past cheap motels and laundromats, trailer parks, and corner churches to a place where a truant God aimlessly and endlessly drives the neighborhood, where birds sing their "fevered hymn / over the dusty tract house roofs" and even the "gravel-throated hallelujahs of dumpsters" profess that "no one is looking for the infinite." Populated with figures as diverse as Janis Joplin, Ronald Reagan, the Big Bopper, and Søren Kierkegaard, these poems are wrought by reverence and skepticism. Praise Nothing navigates the religious, the political, and the sublime. In the lyric tradition of Gerard Manley Hopkins's Terrible Sonnets and James Wright's odes to the Midwest, Robbins's compassionate poems sing of our broken connection to the transcendent. Robbins shows us that if there is anything left to praise, it is Nothing. Praise Nothing is part of the University of Arkansas Press Poetry series, edited by Enid Shomer.

About the Author

Joshua Robbins is a lecturer in English at the University of Tennessee. His poetry has been published in Third Coast, Copper Nickel, Mid-American Review, Best New Poets 2009, and elsewhere.

Product Details

Robbins, Joshua
University of Arkansas Press
Robbins, Josh
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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