Synopses & Reviews
In her first book of collected work, prize-winning poet Linda Gregerson mines nearly forty years of poetry, bringing us a full range of her talents.
Ten new poems introduce Prodigal, followed by fifty poems, culled from Gregerson's five collections, that range broadly in subject from class in America to our world's ravaged environment to the wonders of parenthood to the intersection of science and art to the passion of the Roman gods, and beyond. This selection reinforces Gregerson’s standing as “one of poetry’s mavens . . . whose poetics seek truth through the precise apprehension of the beautiful while never denying the importance of rationality” (Chicago Tribune). A brilliant stylist, known for her formal experiments as well as her perfected lines, Gregerson is a poet of great vision. Here, the growth of her art and the breadth of her interests offer a snapshot of a major poet's intellect in the midst of her career.
"For over four decades, Gregerson (The Selvage) has with compassion and intellect composed poems that wend through mythology, science, family narratives, and current events. Yet this volume is notable more for cohesion than change. Gregerson's signature stepped lines call to mind the tercets of later W.C. Williams, but they are unmistakably her own. Uneven line lengths are steadied by immaculate prosody and consistent stanza structures; frequent pivots from line to line mete out progressions in thought as the poems travel down and across the page. Gregerson could be writing of her own lyric sensibility when she describes Athena and Arachne, who 'with their earth-bread, grass-/ fed, kettle-dyed// wools, devised on their looms/ transitions so subtle no/ hand could trace nor eye discern/ their increments// yet the stories they told were perfectly clear.' A truly interdisciplinary thinker, Gregerson reaches through literature, art, and the everyday to find territory in which the confounding conditions of our age still give rise to understanding and empathy. Reading her work collected in this fashion, it becomes clear that a salient element of her poetics is the enduring commitment to thinking through suffering in its myriad forms and sources. Gregerson's poems remind the reader 'not unkindly, See,/ the world you have to live in is// the world that you have made.' (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A collection of new and selected poetry, her first retrospective collection, from National Book Award finalist and Kingsley Tufts Award–winning poet Linda Gregerson
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.