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Address (Wesleyan Poetry)by Elizabeth Willis
Synopses & Reviews
Address draws us into visible and invisible architectures, into acts of intimate and public address. These poems are concentrated, polyvocal, and sharply attentive to acts of representation; they take personally their politics and in the process reveal something about the way civic structures inhabit the imagination. Poisonous plants, witches, anthems, bees — beneath their surface, we glimpse the fragility of our founding, republican aspirations and witness a disintegrating landscape artfully transformed. If a poem can serve as a kind of astrolabe, measuring distances both cosmic and immediate, temporal and physical, it does so by imaginative, nonlinear means.
Here, past and present engage in acts of mutual interrogation and critique, and within this dynamic Willis's poetry is at once complexly authoritative and searching: so begins our legislation.
“Willis newly revives the list/litany form, and that works to the reader’s delight. Edged flowers or berries in transparent wax: what the words are like. So we have the forest, along with a quite ruined New England/America. And if one is a traditional Witch, does or doesn’t it help?” Alice Notley, author of Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems, 1970-2005
“How does the poem address both self and world? How does it address at once the light and the dark of things as they are? And from what site — or address — can it possibly speak in the profoundly unstable currents of our time? Such are among the eternal issues Elizabeth Willis movingly explores here by means of an unflinching ‘devotion / to the ungoverned,’ that is, by means of the poetic imagination itself." Michael Palmer, author of The Lion Bridge
New poems from an original and challenging American voice.
About the Author
Elizabeth Willis is the author of four previous books including Meteoric Flowers, Turneresque, and The Human Abstract. She is Shapiro-Silverberg Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University.
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