Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ashbery - Bang - Ramke - Three Books I'm Looking Forward to

Here are three books I’m looking forward to this fall. What else is coming up?

Planisphere: New Poems
by John Ashbery

The only thing I know about it so far is it will be 160 pages, and it will come out in December.

The Bride of E: Poems
by Mary Jo Bang

September 28

The goblet mouth on the table speaks
To your thirst, saying, Longing, your longing, is infinite.
-from "H Is Here Is a Song, Now Sing"

In her sixth collection, The Bride of E, Mary Jo Bang uses a distinctive mix of humor and directness to sound the deepest sort of anguish: the existential condition. Timeless yet tirelessly inventive, Bang fashions her examination of the lived life into an abecedarius that is as rapturous in its language and music as it is affecting in its awareness of--and yearning for--what isn't there. The title of the first poem, "ABC Plus E: Cosmic Aloneness Is the Bride of Existence," posits the collection's central problem, and a symposium of figures from every register of our culture (from Plato to Pee-wee Herman, Mickey Mouse to Sartre) is assembled to help confront it. Riddled with insight, pathos, and wit, The Bride of E is a brilliant new work by one the most compelling poets of our time.

Theory of Mind: New & Selected Poems 1978-2008
by Bin Ramke

September 1

Drawing upon four decades of poetry and including an ample selection of new work, this perceptive collection shares a wealth of intimate experiences and compelling encounters with the world. Citing an extensive range of social, scientific, literary, and philosophical sources, each piece offers a lens of both telescopic and microscopic precision. Sharing insight into many private forms of suffering—mental illness, loss of loved ones, family crises—personal issues are used to assess continued struggles with the profound questions of what it means to be human, moral, and conscious. Directly responding to current social and cultural issues, these engaging meditations examine the complex interrelations of people with their environment, work, health, cultural upheaval, and natural disasters. Deftly detailing the essence of human existence, small instances of daily activity—from drinking tea to remembering childhood experiences—are brought to the forefront and gently articulate the value of human life.


At 8/26/2009 6:26 AM, Blogger Matthew Thorburn said...

Ashbery is like a poetry-producing machine -- the exact opposite of Donald Justice in old age (though I suppose he was the opposite of Justice in many ways at a younger age too!).

I'd love to hear what you like about the Waldrep book, John. I know everybody's crazy about his poems, but I can't figure my way into them.

At 8/26/2009 12:44 PM, Blogger Steven D. Schroeder said...

Dara Wier has a new and selected coming up from Wave...

At 8/26/2009 1:59 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

MT: I will write a bit about the Waldrep, soon. It's odd, for me, talking about his work, which I need to mention, as we've worked together on a manuscript that's just now coming together.

He finds a way to meaning that is quite different from that of others. I feel like I've been inside it. It's hard to explain.

At 8/27/2009 9:56 AM, Blogger Steven D. Schroeder said...

Correction: just Selected, not New and Selected. Still, I'll definitely get it.

At 8/31/2009 2:12 PM, Blogger Matthew Thorburn said...

Thanks John. I'll look forward to that.

Steven, I'm looking forward to that book too.

At 8/31/2009 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bang's cover is far better than Bin's. Will Ashbery use one of his own collages (see THE GREAT AMERICAN PROSE POEM)?


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