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You Good Thingby Dara Wier
Synopses & Reviews
"This anti-elegy, both reverent and funny, anticipates the funny reverence that Wier finds, makes up, and sustains throughout her decades of subsequent writing."—Jacket Magazine
Dara Wier's loose sonnets insist on a living language in the face of death, cycling and vibrant as the water that runs through them.
. . . Assigned to
Adventure said the motto on our buttons. The last thing we knew
Before we left with our satchels concerned how love withdraws
Moving backward taking with it everything, our names, this way.
Dara Wier directs the MFA program at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. This is her ninth book, and first new collection of poetry since 2006.
"Opening with a sketched map and quote — 'by the longest possible route' — from Fernando Pessoa, Wier's 11th collection delights in its turnings and tangents, line to line, poem to poem. These loose sonnets — in some respects traditional lyrics addressing a illusive Other — echo Pessoa's experiments with how the self writes and is written. 'For the sake of/ Argument,' Wier writes in the first poem, 'let's say I'm a crime and you're a clue and someone,/ Else, we don't know who, is the detective,' and while the poems do play and role-play, their willingness to do so is grounded in grief: 'I feel like/ Someone who's been practicing poorly a system of rituals/ Banished and bled of their meaning,' she writes. 'No one if not you/ Will be able to stop me.' Wier sets her poems amidst shifting landscapes in which the reader can only 'catch a glimpse of the story once the bridge has collapsed.' It's a sometimes surreal search for truth in the face of meaninglessness, 'Tantamount to a ticker tape parade on the streets of/ A stunned city,' and there is much to marvel at on the way." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
[Wiers] directed and charged language is a reminder of how vital and vivid poetry can be.”—American Poet
About the Author
Dara Wier is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2009), Remnants of Hannah (Wave Books, 2006), Reverse Rapture (Verse Press, 2005, 2006 SFSU Poetry Center Book Award), Hat On a Pond (Verse Press, 2002), and Voyages in English, (Carnegie Mellon, 2001). Also among her works are the limited editions (X In Fix) in Rain Taxis Brainstorm Series, Fly on the Wall (Oat City Press), and The Lost Epic, co-written with James Tate (Waiting for Godot Books, 1999). Her poetry has been supported by fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the American Poetry Review. In 2005 she held the Rubin Distinguished Chair at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.
Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Conduit, Denver Quarterly, The Fairytale Review, Hollins Critic, jubilat, New American Writing, slope and Volt, among other magazines.
She teaches workshops and form and theory seminars and directs the MFA program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and co-directs the University of Massachusetts Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts and Action. Each June she teaches a poetry workshop for the Juniper Summer Institute. Her editing work includes publishing limited edition chapbooks and broadsides with Factory Hollow Press, North Amherst, Massachusetts, a small independent press she co-edits with Emily Pettit and Guy Pettit. Along with James Haug and James Tate she edits the University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Series for poetry.
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