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Voodoo Inverso (Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry)


Voodoo Inverso (Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this debut collection, Voodoo Inverso, Mark Wagenaar composes a startling mystical imagism and sets it to music, using self-portraits to explore differing physical and spiritual landscapes. He uses a variety of personae—a victim of sex trafficking in Amsterdam, a fichera dancer, a portrait haunted by Dante, a carillonneur of starlight, an elephant in pink slippers remembering its beloved—to silhouette the intricacies and frailties of the body and the world. In a series of “gospels” and “histories”—such as the poems “History of Ecstasy” and “Moth Hour Gospel”—he shines a light on the possibilities of transcendence and transfiguration, weaving together memory and loss with desire and hope.

About the Author

Mark Wagenaar is the winner of numerous poetry awards, including the Yellowwood Poetry Prize, the Gary Gildner Award, the Matt Clark Poetry Prize, and the Greg Grummer Poetry Award. His poems have appeared in such journals as New England Review, Subtropics, Southern Review, American Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, New Ohio Review, and Antioch Review. He lives in Denton, Texas.

Table of Contents



Part I: Self-Portraits & Disappearances

Chiropractic (Bootblacks & Light Bulbs)


The History of Ecstasy


Voodoo Inverso (Self-Portrait)

Slow Migration Towards Ecstasy

Nocturne Past Dreaming

A Splinter of the Buddha's Tooth

Portraits of the Artist with Montale

A Parade of Ghosts

The Other World

Self-Portrait of the Artist as Io

Portrait of the Artist with Dante

Sun Goin Down Bad Luck Blues

Deer Hour Gospel

The Way of All Flesh

Dusk Hour Gospel (Each Poem is a Poem of Exile)


Part II: The Litter Bearers

Zen River Travel

Tulip Mania (The New Numerology)

The History of Your Life in a Hair Strand


Elegiac Stanzas

Gacela of the Wounds

Consolations of the New Day

Since You Asked

A Blessing

Preparing the Table

Gacela of the Bright Omen

A Life Buried in Water

Six Prayer Kites over Rock Island

The Butcher with Nothing But Bones



Film 101: Final Exam

Survival Plans

The Disciples Question Their Yogi

Deep Image Hall of Fame

The Joke

Orpheus Amongst the Fishbones

Other Equations for Velocity

Lines for a Thirtieth Birthda

The Other Side of the Curtain

Elegy with Two Lemons

The Litter Bearers


Part III: Aubades & Nocturnes

Bat Hour Gospel

Unknowable Aubade

Early Hymn from Humpback Rock

Nail Bed Gospel

Baladère Notturno

Carnival Nocturne

Domestic Nocturne

Sixth Finger Gospel


Nocturne of a Thousand & One Notes

Nocturne: Exit Music for a Film

Thinking of Thomas à Kempis on a Fall Evening

Unknowable Nocturne


Moth Hour Gospel

Product Details

Wagenaar, Mark
University of Wisconsin Press
Single Author / American
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry
Publication Date:
9 x 6 x 0.5 in

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