It's Raining Books Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Powells.com Interview



David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
  1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$18.00
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
5 Local Warehouse Poetry- A to Z
4 Remote Warehouse Anthologies- Essays

Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet

by

Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Blazing high style” is how The New York Times describes the prose of Christian Wiman, the young editor who transformed Poetry, the countrys oldest literary magazine.

Ambition and Survival is a collection of stirring personal essays and critical prose on a wide range of subjects: reading Milton in Guatemala, recalling violent episodes of his youth, and traveling in Africa with his eccentric father, as well as a series of penetrating essays on writers as diverse as Thomas Hardy and Janet Lewis. The book concludes with a portrait of Wimans diagnosis of a rare form of incurable and lethal cancer, and how mortality reignited his religious passions.

When I was twenty years old I set out to be a poet. That sounds like I was a sort of frigate raising anchor, and in a way I guess I was, though susceptible to the lightest of winds. . . . When I read Samuel Johnsons comment that any young man could compensate for his poor education by reading five hours a day for five years, thats exactly what I tried to do, practically setting a timer every afternoon to let me know when the little egg of my brain was boiled. Its a small miracle that I didnt take to wearing a cape.

Praise for Ambition and Survival

"That calling, at once religious, ethical, and aesthetic, is one that only a genuine poet can hear—and very few poets can explain it as compellingly as Mr. Wiman does. That gift is what makes Ambition and Survival, not just one of the best books of poetry criticism in a generation, but a spiritual memoir of the first order."

New York Sun

"This weighty first prose collection should inspire wide attention, partly because of Wiman's current job, partly because of his astute insights and partly because he mixes poetry criticism with sometimes shocking memoir...The collection's greatest strength comes in general ruminations on the writing, reading and judging poetry." —Publishers Weekly

"[Wiman is] a terrific personal essayist, as this new collection illustrates, with the command and instincts of the popular memoirist ... This is a brave and bracing book." —Booklist"Christian Wiman's poems often spoke of a void, and then they stopped. In Ambition and Survival, Poetry magazine's editor rediscovers his spirituality and his voice."—Chicago Sun-Times

Christian Wiman is the editor of Poetry magazine. His poems and essays appear regularly in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, and The New York Times Book Review. He is the author of several books of poetry, including The Long Home (isbn 9781556592690) and Hard Night (isbn 9781556592201).

Review:

"'Before assuming command of a revamped Poetry magazine in 2002, Wiman already wielded a reputation as a serious, outspoken poet-critic. This weighty first prose collection should inspire wide attention, partly because of Wiman's current job, partly because of his astute insights and partly because he mixes poetry criticism with sometimes shocking memoir. The first few essays describe Wiman's early life in a tough West Texas town, full of 'nameless angers and solitudes' and 'idealized, sometimes inexplicable violence.' Later pieces examine his rough international travels, struggles with major illness and Christian belief. In between come pronouncements and propositions about poetry: it must consider lived experience and reflect both the tradition from which it comes and the poet's times. Hardy, Eliot, Heaney and Walcott merit high praise, as does the Scottish poet George Mackay Brown; Millay, Crane and Bunting get fascinatingly ambivalent appraisals. The collection's greatest strengths come in general ruminations on the writing, reading and judging of poetry, such as '[T]here is a direct correlation between the quality of the poem and the poet's capacity for suffering.' Or 'Most lasting art is made by people who believe with everything in them that art is for the sake of life, but who live otherwise.' (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

An intimate first book of personal essays and incisive commentary from the editor of Poetry.

Synopsis:

Cultural Writing. Poetry. Essay. "Blazing high style" is how The New York Times describes the prose of Christian Wiman. AMBITION AND SURVIVAL is a collection of stirring personal essays and critical prose on a wide range of subjects: reading Milton in Guatemala, recalling violent episodes of his youth, and traveling in Africa with his ecentric father, as well as a series of penetrating essays on writers as diverse as Thomas Hardy and Janet Lewis. The book concludes with a portrait of Wiman's diagnosis of a rare form of incurable and lethal cancer, and how mortality reignited his religious passions. Christian Wiman is the editor of Poetry magazine. His poems and essays appear regularly in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and The New York Times Book Review.

About the Author

Christian Wiman was born and raised in west Texas. His poetry and criticism appears widely in magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and Slate. His first book won the Nicholas Roerich Prize, and he has won the Ruth Lilly and Wallace Stegner Fellowships. He lives in Chicago, where he is the editor of Poetry magazine.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781556592607
Author:
Wiman, Christian
Publisher:
Copper Canyon Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
Authorship
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Poetry -- Authorship.
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20070931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
280
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.7 in 14.5 oz

Other books you might like

  1. Ooga-Booga: Poems New Trade Paper $14.00
  2. Dark Water: Flood and Redemption in... Used Hardcover $12.50
  3. The Mystery Guest Used Trade Paper $8.00
  4. The Sparrow (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
    Used Trade Paper $7.50
  5. The Library at Night Used Hardcover $10.50
  6. Orpheus in the Bronx: Essays on... New Trade Paper $24.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.00 In Stock
Product details 280 pages Copper Canyon Press - English 9781556592607 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'Before assuming command of a revamped Poetry magazine in 2002, Wiman already wielded a reputation as a serious, outspoken poet-critic. This weighty first prose collection should inspire wide attention, partly because of Wiman's current job, partly because of his astute insights and partly because he mixes poetry criticism with sometimes shocking memoir. The first few essays describe Wiman's early life in a tough West Texas town, full of 'nameless angers and solitudes' and 'idealized, sometimes inexplicable violence.' Later pieces examine his rough international travels, struggles with major illness and Christian belief. In between come pronouncements and propositions about poetry: it must consider lived experience and reflect both the tradition from which it comes and the poet's times. Hardy, Eliot, Heaney and Walcott merit high praise, as does the Scottish poet George Mackay Brown; Millay, Crane and Bunting get fascinatingly ambivalent appraisals. The collection's greatest strengths come in general ruminations on the writing, reading and judging of poetry, such as '[T]here is a direct correlation between the quality of the poem and the poet's capacity for suffering.' Or 'Most lasting art is made by people who believe with everything in them that art is for the sake of life, but who live otherwise.' (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
An intimate first book of personal essays and incisive commentary from the editor of Poetry.
"Synopsis" by , Cultural Writing. Poetry. Essay. "Blazing high style" is how The New York Times describes the prose of Christian Wiman. AMBITION AND SURVIVAL is a collection of stirring personal essays and critical prose on a wide range of subjects: reading Milton in Guatemala, recalling violent episodes of his youth, and traveling in Africa with his ecentric father, as well as a series of penetrating essays on writers as diverse as Thomas Hardy and Janet Lewis. The book concludes with a portrait of Wiman's diagnosis of a rare form of incurable and lethal cancer, and how mortality reignited his religious passions. Christian Wiman is the editor of Poetry magazine. His poems and essays appear regularly in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and The New York Times Book Review.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.