Synopses & Reviews
A magnificent new collection from National Book Award finalist and Kingsley Tufts Award winner Linda Gregerson
In eloquent poems about Ariadne, Theseus, and Dido, the death of a father, a bombing raid in Lebanon, and in a magnificent series detailing Masaccios Brancacci frescoes, The Selvage deftly traces the “line between” the “wonder and woe” of human experience. Keenly attuned to the precariousness of our existence in a fractured world—of “how little the world will spare us”—Gregerson explores the cruelty of human and political violence, such as the recent island massacre in Norway and “the current nightmare” of war and terrorism. And yet, running as a “counterpoint” to violence and cruelty is “The reigning brilliance / of the genome and / the risen moon . . . ,” “The / arachnids exoskeleton. The kestrels eye.” The Selvage is the boldest evidence yet that Linda Gregersons unique combination of dramatic lyricism and fierce intelligence transcends current fashions to claim an enduring place in American poetry.
"The eighth gathering of poems from Plumly (Now That My Father Lies Down Beside Me) offers many beauties but few surprises. Onrushing, almost whispering, pentameters, divided into lyric meditations, depict the winters, summers, springs, snows, fogs, skies and greenery of Europe and of the American East Coast, where Plumly resides. We see 'a winter city, night city, streetlights/ blurred in mist' (Prague); 'glittering halves of oyster shells'; 'first crocuses and the lavender called redbud' blooming on a college campus; even, in one poem called 'Pastoral,' the 'complexities of leaves,/ the umbels, whorls, bracts, and involucres.' Plumly remains as much a poet of elegy as he is a poet of nature: odes and memorials to other poets, living and dead, show 'how we all change with time but don't.' Plumly can seem morbid, or bathetic, as in a sonnet called 'When He Fell Backwards into His Coffin,' about a corpse found in a bathtub; he can also seem content with mere prettiness, speaking nothing but 'Summer's/ language like sunlight on stone, light itself the stone.' Yet Plumly has admirers for good reason: few poets have sounded so often so comfortable at once with the recollections and strong emotions involved in autobiography, and with attention to a beautiful natural world. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Middle age, masculinity, competition, religion, football, and the art of poetry itself spin together into powerful ironies in some of the best poems Jones has created so far: 'I had a dream,' one begins, 'of harnessing and exacting irrevocable power over others... in the cleat-pocked, dried dirt of a practice field.'" --Publishers Weekly
In his new collection, Stanley Plumly confronts and celebrates mortality--in the detailed natural world, in the immediacy of the loss of friends, and in personal encounters. Archetypal, sometimes even allegorical, the poems in amount to a sustained meditation. The American Academy of Arts and Letters declared of Plumly that "he has in the last thirty years quietly, steadily, expanded the range of lyric poetry in English...[and] reinvigorated our poetry." His ethical rigor and literary modesty combine in --his finest book of poetry.
"Successor to James Wright and John Keats, with a marvelous ear for the music of contemplation."--Rita Dove
'Stanley Plumly\'s masterful eighth collection--wherein he confronts and celebrates mortality--was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry.\n
A new collection from a Kingsley Tufts Award-winning poet Imaginary Logic
is a brilliantly expansive, deeply meditative, and at times wildly imaginative collection of poems that combines Rodney Joness distinctive storytelling ability, sharp social intelligence, and keen powers of observation in a book that is wistful, satiric, audacious, and remorseless. “The Art of Heaven” opens with a parody of Dante and a down-home, twisted humor that Joness readers have come to rely on: “In the middle of my life I came to a dark wood, / the smell of barbecue, kids running in the yards. / Not deep depression. This nice hell of suburbs. / Speed bumps. The way things arent quite paradise.” Rodney Jones, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, is one of Americas “best, most generous, and most brilliantly readable poets” (Poetry
). Imaginary Logic
is the most eloquent expression yet of his rigorous mind, scrupulous eye, and capacious heart.
A new collection from a Kingsley Tufts Award–winning poet Imaginary Logic
is a brilliantly expansive, deeply meditative, and at times wildly imaginative collection of poems that combines Rodney Joness distinctive storytelling ability, sharp social intelligence, and keen powers of observation in a book that is wistful, satiric, audacious, and remorseless.
Rodney Jones, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, is one of Americas "best, most generous, and most brilliantly readable poets" (Poetry).Imaginary Logicis the most eloquent expression yet of his rigorous mind, scrupulous eye, and capacious heart.
A collection of 35 new poems that will reinforce Rodney Jones's reputation as one of America's most versatile narrative poets.
The poems in Selvage, Linda Gregersons first collection since her Kingsley Tufts Award winning Magnetic North, allude to Milton, to the great myths of Ariadne, Theseus, and Dido, and include a magnificent series detailing Masaccios frescoes about the life of Saint Peter.
About the Author
LINDA GREGERSON is the author of Waterborne, The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep, and Fire in the Conservatory. She teaches Renaissance literature and creative writing at the University of Michigan. Her poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry as well as in the Atlantic, Poetry, Ploughshares, the Yale Review, TriQuarterly, and other publications. Among her many awards and honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, four Pushcart Prizes, and a Kingsley Tufts Award.
Table of Contents
In the Days of Magical Realism 3
Voice Making the Sounds of Engines 4
On Fiction 7
The Competition of Prayers 9
On Criticism 12
Feelings, by Ashley Higgins 13
The Elementary Principles of Rhetoric 15
The Heaven of Self-Pity 16
The Ante 17
Confidential Advice 19
The End of Practice 23
Metaphors for the Trance 27
Hubris at Zunzal 30
Last Man Standing 31
IN MEDIA RES
Two Quick Scenes from the Late Sixties 35
The Essence of Man 39
In Media Res 43
What Is True for a Minute 45
The Previous Tenants 47
RELIQUARY OF THE OTHER WORLD
The Art of Heaven 61
The Moons: Notes on the Formation of Self 64
The Poem of Fountains 67
The Trip to Opelika 71
The Eviction 75
North Alabama Endtime 78
Lines for the Joe Wheeler Rural Electric Cooperative 81